Mauritania has closed its border with Mali after the country reported its first Ebola death near the frontier shared by the two countries. The WHO says more than 10,000 people have now been infected with the virus.
Medical officials stationed in eastern Mauritania said Saturday the government had issued orders to close all land crossings to Mali and suspend weekly markets in the area. The decision was made after a two-year-old girl from Guinea died of Ebola in the Malian town of Kayes, a major transit point near the border with Mauritania and Senegal.
Malian authorities on Saturday were working to trace everyone who may have had contact with the girl and her grandmother, and had so far put more than 40 people under observation.
Mali’s President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita told France’s RFI radio that his country would not shut its border with Guinea, despite the severity of the outbreak there. “Guinea is Mali’s neighbor. We have a shared border that we did not close and we will not close,” he said.