13 measures taken onTuesday by the government to foil the spread of COVID-19 virus take effect today.
Y aounde took the restrictions during an inter-ministerial meeting at the PM’s office in Yaounde on Tuesday. Chief Dr Joseph Dione Ngute in a soft voice read out the measures over the state-run radio, CRTV. Cameroon will close its borders until further notice. All passenger flights into the country are suspended. And, Cameroon will not issue entry visas at any of its airports, the PM told his compatriots. Cameroon will allow its citizens living abroad to enter the country. The lives of Cameroonians will take a new twist from today. Bars, restaurants and entertainment spots will close as from 6pm throughout the country. Cameroonians who are ‘night owls’, and love to party in cities like Yaounde and Douala will be forced to shelve these habits for a later date. Cameroon is also shutting down schools from the nursery to the highest level. Schools were to close this Friday and reopen in two weeks. Homeschooling could replace regular schools if the pandemic continues to spread when they resume. The measures, the prime minister acknowledged are “difficult”, yet “necessary.” Government has also “prohibited” gatherings of more than 50 persons. Churches, for example, will shut their doors and Christians will have to pray from their homes for the coronavirus to stop spreading. The current session of the National Assembly grouping 167 MPs will halt. In the steps taken, the government discouraged boardroom meetings of more than 10 persons. Yaounde encouraged such meetings to be held through electronic devices. WhatsApp fora could serve as new conference halls. The government also postponed all forthcoming school and university competitions– Fenassco for the secondary schools were to be played in Mvomeka’a and university games in Ngaoundere. Cameroon authorities intend to control the customer flow in markets and shopping centres and advises the population to travel only in cases of “extreme necessity” discourages overloading. Law enforcement will “ensure” that drivers of taxis, buses and motorbikes “comply.” The Prime Minister in the statement also reiterated earlier measures taken before the first case was recorded in Cameroon on 6 March 2020. All missions abroad by civil servants had been suspended; a measure that government maintained. He encouraged Cameroonians to “respect and observe” hygienic habits such as regular washing of hands. Cameroonians would have to embrace social distancing. What appears like normal habits to Cameroonians such as hugging, kissing and shaking of hands is what government is now discouraging. The Coronavirus outbreak was first recorded in China; today the infectious decease has now travelled to 146 countries and has killed over 6500, and infected 170,000. Cameroon has recorded 10 cases of Coronavirus, the PM said. “No local outbreaks have been recorded” in Cameroon, the Head of Government, added.