Mormon missionaries are returning to Madagascar nearly three months after they were reassigned because of an outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague on the island.
Twelve missionaries are in “various stages of returning to the island” after the outbreak was contained, according to a Friday news release from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nearly 80 left the country in October, about the time the World Health Organization reported 849 suspected or confirmed cases of plague in the country since the outbreak began in August.
When the missionaries got the order to leave, 67 people had died from the disease. Numbers of confirmed, suspected and probable cases jumped to 2,348, with 202 deaths, as of Nov. 27.
The LDS Church also announced a second group of 16 missionaries — with more to follow — will soon return to their missions in Puerto Rico.
About 150 missionaries were relocated last year, when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean islands. A small contingent of missionaries was cleared to return to the main island in early December, along with two senior missionary couples who went back to their posts in St. Croix and St. Thomas.