BREAKING: Mali reports 4 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 45

Health officials in Mali have reported four new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The new cases bring the total number of known infections in the landlocked West African country to 45, including 5 deaths.

The disease was first reported in Mali late last month, when two people who had traveled from France tested positive for the virus. The number of cases has since ballooned to rival those of neighboring countries.

The latest cases come less than one week after Mali made the controversial decision to go ahead with a long-delayed parliamentary election. The country is also battling an prolonged insurgency in its north and central regions.