ANKARA

Guinea-Bissau’s premier and three government ministers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, local media reported Wednesday.

Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Na Biam and the trio of ministers were immediately quarantined at a hotel in the capital of Bissau, Health Minister Antonio Deuna said.

Na Biam, a former presidential candidate, was appointed prime minister in February.

Deuna invited the country to respect COVID-19 preventive measures and said the situation is becoming more serious.

The news came days after President Umaro Sissoco Embalo placed a major order for COVID-organics from Madagascar. Organic concoction is said to cure virus-infected patients.

The West African country, with a population of nearly 2 million has 73 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with one death, and 18 recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.

Guinea-Bissau recorded its first COVID-19 death last Saturday, causing the president to extend a nationwide state of emergency to May 11.

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