Three ministers from the small West African country of Gambia have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, barely four days after Vice President Isatou Touray was diagnosed with COVID-19.

A statement from the presidency Sunday evening revealed that Finance Minister Mambury Njie, Petroleum and Energy Minister Fafa Sanyang and Agriculture Minister Amie Fabureh were confirmed to have contracted the virus.

Since Touray tested positive, President Adama Barrow has announced he was going into self-quarantine.

Gambia has seen recent spikes in cases of COVID-19 with official records at 498 as of Saturday. Deaths from the virus total nine, while 68 people have recovered.

On Sunday afternoon, the death of Alieu Mboge, the leader of the Banjul Muslim elders, was rumored to have been associated with the virus.

About two weeks ago, the government issued a regulation making the wearing of face masks compulsory while closing non-essential public places and banning social and public gatherings.

The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 687,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in Wuhan, China last December.

The US, Brazil, India and Russia are currently the worst-hit countries in the world.

Over 17.9 million cases have been reported worldwide with recoveries exceeding 10.6 million, according to figures compiled by US-based Johns Hopkins University.


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