COVID-19: Cameroon's 13 'Empty' Measures, what government must do

On the 17th March 2020, Cameroon's Prime Minister, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute outlined 13 measures put in place by Government to curb the spread of the Coronavirus. Two weeks after, the Central African country records new cases everyday.

Schools have been shutdown, gatherings of more than 50 persons prohibited, inter-urban transport limited to 50 persons in one bus, cameroonians have been encouraged to wash their hands regularly with soap and avoid touching their eyes, mouth and nostrils. People no longer greet each other.

These measures have still not stopped the spread of the Coronavirus in Cameroon. Four of the country's 10 regions are affected. With Yaounde topping the chart in most cases and Douala in most deaths.

Shockingly, markets all over the national territory are still open, people go about their daily activities unperturbed. Other Cameroonians are running away from being tested.

This means government's 13 measures are not a deterrent to the spread of the virus in the country.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently shutdown the cities of Lagos and Abuja with Nigeria having less than a hundred cases. Cameroon with 223 cases, life goes on as normal but for bars and restaurants that close at 6PM.

Wash your hands, don't move out if it's not absolutely necessary, wear face masks are being song every now and then by Health Minister, Manaouda Malachie. Nothing is changing on the ground. A health facility in the West Region of Cameroon has been shutdown temporarily because a health worker tested positive to the virus.

Tuesday March 31, Cameroon's President, Paul Biya, launched a solidarity fund with the state bringing in one billion FCFA.

The Country's Health Minister a day earlier said 630 millions had been used to quarantine patients in a little over 14 days. For how long can one billion last?

The country doesn't pride itself with modern heath care facilities and curbing the spread of the virus is the only way out now.

On Twitter and other social media handles, Cameroonians have asked the government to shutdown the cities of Douala, Yaounde and Bafoussam, a phenomenon that has affected major cities across the world hit by the virus, but nothing is said in this regard.

More and more persons risk being infected with the virus as business goes on as usual in the affected cities.

In China like in the USA, emergency centres are constructed to quarantine new cases. Sadly, Cameroon is not thinking in this regard.

Parliament is currently meeting, one would have thought a bill to adjust the state budget to improve the Heath care system be tabled, nothing as at now

Cameroonians while respecting the 13 measures of Government will have to rely only on God alone to be safe.


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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