BARKA Foundation is closely monitoring the Coronavirus situation in Burkina Faso. We will continue to update this page with the latest news, updating the timeline below with significant events and information.
The healthcare system in Burkina Faso is already virtually on its knees due to an ongoing unprecedented humanitarian crisis, and most medical facilities in Sahel, Centre-Nord and Nord regions have either closed or are barely able to function. There is concern that a widespread outbreak of Coronavirus could have catastrophic results.
Please also check BARKA’s news archives The BARKIVES for the latest news articles about COVID-19 in Burkina Faso from the international press.
BARKA’s Response for its Partner Villages: During a Board Meeting on March 21st, BARKA’s Board of Directors determined to immediately focus its efforts to sensitize the population of our village partners and the more than 40,000 internally displaced people currently taking shelter in Fada N’Gourma on the critical importance of frequent handwashing at this time.
BARKA has joined a UNICEF-led response team of international and local NGOs and local government to create a more efficient and collaborative approach to combating the many problems our communities are facing. BARKA is also currently developing a major new project to ensure that displaced people in the city of Fada N’Gourma have clean water to drink.
In the past several months, BARKA supported several local women’s organizations in the Fada area by purchasing locally produced soap. As markets, sales and revenue dried up for local sellers, this provided much-needed income for dozens of women in several women-run associations.
BARKA also raised funds through an online grassroots campaign to produce masks made locally from traditional cloth with locally grown cotton. Masks went to over 1000 students taking final exams in August, to over 1000 IDPs in Fada, and 500 prisoners who were most vulnerable.
Number of people reached thus far with soap distribution, handwashing sensitization and mask distribution: 9900.
Click here to make a donation for BARKA Foundation to continue serving at-risk communities in Burkina Faso.
BARKA’s Response for its Burkina Faso Staff: Until further notice BARKA’s entire staff is prohibited from traveling to Ouagadougou or Bobo-Dioulasso. Currently we are happy to report that all staffers are healthy and no one has fallen sick. We are taking measures to protect staff with masks and gloves when they interact with villagers and other beneficiaries.
If you are in Burkina Faso and feel sick, call the Burkina Faso hotline at (226) 52-19-53-94 or (226) 70-95-93-27, or dial 35 35, if you suspect you might have COVID-19.
CORONAVIRUS TIMELINE WITHIN BURKINA FASO (updated on a monthly basis):
Number of Cases of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso (per Ministry of Health): 2381 (as of October 16)
Number of Deaths: 65
Number of Recoveries: 1774
News Related to COVID-19 in Burkina Faso:
Sept 15: 193 new contaminations were reported on 9/13, the majority of which were located in Bobo-Dioulasso, the nation’s 2nd largest city..
July 28: Authorities announce that international flights will resume as of midnight on Saturday, August 1.
July 11: First 3 cases of COVID-19 are detected in Fada N’Gourma, the city where BARKA’s base of operations is situated.
June 16: The Ministry of Health and WHO held a press briefing in which they revealed that Burkina Faso has seen 5 cases of polio in 3 different regions since January 2020. There is worldwide concern that singular focus on coronavirus will give rise to other diseases and epidemics.
June 13: On Saturday, June 13, approximately 700-1000 demonstrators gathered in Fada N’Gourma (Gourma province) to denounce insecurity and killings against the Fulani community in the region. Protesters demanded further action be taken to prevent the atrocities, including the restructuring of security defense forces. The demonstration was not authorized by authorities and took place in spite of the ban on public gatherings amid the ongoing fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
June 3: Following a presidential decree by Roch Marc Christian Kaboré on Monday, June 1, the nationwide curfew imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was lifted on Wednesday, June 3. The curfew between 21:00 and 04:00 (local time) had been in place since March 21. The country remains under a state of health emergency and the borders remain closed until further notice. All bars, restaurants, markets, and schools remain closed, and some public gatherings continue to be prohibited. Other restrictions, including the use of face masks in public places, remain mandatory nationwide.
May 30: Police used tear gas to disperse a demonstration in the southwestern city of Bobo-Dioulasso on Saturday, May 30. Hundreds of people, many on motorbikes, had gathered in the city center and planned to proceed to the Hauts-Bassins regional administrative office to call for the lifting of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions.
May 6: Burkina Faso’s football federation canceled the 2019/2020 football season due to disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
May 4: Burkinabe authorities announced in a decree that the ban on travel between cities, imposed since April 20, would be lifted with immediate effect to stimulate the country’s economy. The decree further stated that all religious institutions would be allowed to reopen as of May 10, although certain ceremonies will remain prohibited.
April 30: Schools are being set to re-open on May 15th.
April 28: As of last week, there were over 19,550 confirmed cases in Africa. International media sources report Covid-19 cases have surged 43% in Africa during the past week.
April 20: The Government of Burkina Faso modified the curfew restrictions. As of today, a curfew is in effect between the hours of 9:00 pm and 4:00 am. Additionally, effective next Monday, 27 April 2020, the wearing of facemasks will be obligatory throughout the country.
April 2: Burkina Faso slashed its expectations of GDP growth for 2020 from 6.3 percent to two percent, in an nationwide address by President Roch Kabore. He also pledged that the state will “take charge of water and electricity bills” for some inhabitants and enforce price controls for essential products, with security measures to protect stocks of key consumer goods. The authorities have set up a recovery fund for companies in difficulty worth 100 billion CFA francs (152 million euros / $165 million), together with a solidarity fund to help workers in the informal sector. Also, President Kabore pardoned 1,207 prisoners in a bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
April 1: There are now 6 confirmed cases of government ministers, and the Ambassador of Italy has also tested positive.
March 29: Burkina Faso’s Minister of Transport, Urban Mobility and Road Safety, Vincent Dabilgou, has tested positive for COVID-19. He is the 5th minister to have contracted the virus.
March 26: The Burkinabè ministerial board declared a state of sanitary emergency in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As such, authorities announced a quarantine in Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso, Boromo, Dédougou, Houndé, Banfora, Manga, and Zorgho, where cases have been confirmed. It remains unknown how long the quarantine will remain in effect.
March 25: Authorities in Burkina Faso have ordered all bars, restaurants, and markets in the capital Ouagadougou and its surroundings to close from Wednesday, March 25, until at least Monday, April 20, to prevent further spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country. All gatherings are also prohibited.
March 24: The Burkina Faso Ministry of Health confirmed 114 cases of COVID-19 in Burkina Faso, the highest number in West Africa. Martial Ouedraogo, National coordinator of the response to the coronavirus pandemic, said seven patients have been cured. Some 604 people have been traced and isolated.
March 23: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Monday for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts around the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The U.N. chief said: “It is time to put armed conflict on lock-down and focus together on the true fight of our lives… the world faces a common enemy — COVID-19 which doesn’t care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith”. He said women, children, the disabled, marginalized and displaced and people caught in armed conflicts, which are raging around the world, are the most vulnerable and “are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.” It’s time to silence guns, stop artillery, end airstrikes and create corridors for life-saving aid and open windows for diplomacy, he said. “The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war. End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world. It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now. That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.”
March 22: The US Ambassador, Andrew Young confirms he has tested positive for Coronavirus.
March 21: Burkina Faso has 64 confirmed cases of coronavirus (29 women and 35 men), resulting in 3 deaths to date including that of a 62-year-old female legislator with diabetes — sub-Saharan Africa’s first fatality from the new virus. Four government ministers are among the latest cases including the ministers of foreign affairs, interior, education and mines and quarries. The vast majority of cases are in Ouagadougou, however cases have also been identified in Bobo-Dioulasso, Boromo and Dedougou. According to a government issued report, 5 cases of recovery, including the first infected couple who returned with coronavirus from France last week, have been recorded.
March 20: The Burkina Faso government puts the followings order in place:
- All gatherings more than 50 people prohibited, effectively putting an end to church and mosque services and funerals
- Nationwide curfew from 7pm to 5am
- Airports in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Diouslasso will be closed for 2 weeks (renewable)
- Land and railway traffic has also been suspended for 2 weeks (renewable)
March 16: All schools are shut down effective immediately until at least April 14th.
March 11: Al Jazeera reports that there are only 400 coronavirus test kits available in Burkina Faso, with only three health facilities in the country able to carry out the tests – two in Ouagadougou and one in the second city of Bobo Dioulasso.
March 9: Burkina records its first 2 cases of Coronavirus, becoming the sixth country in sub-Saharan Africa affected by the virus. Health Minister Claudine Lougue told reporters that the two patients, a husband and wife, had recently returned to Burkina Faso from a trip to France and went into isolation. Mamadou and Hortense Karambiri, considered celebrity pastors, lead a church of 12,000 members, and had held a service before coming down with symptoms. Their church, Bethel Israel Tabernacle, canceled its Sunday services.