Cameroon closes land, air, seaports of entry, institutes 11 other drastic measures to prevent spread of Coronavirus

By Amos Fofung 

Cameroon’s Capital- Yaounde

The government of Cameroon has taken drastic measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the virus that causes Coronavirus.

After witnessing over 10 confirmed cases in less than a week, the government of Central African’s most vibrant economy announced March 17, 2020, that it was shutting all its borders, schools and limiting public gatherings.

The drastic measures which will no doubt have a negative impact on the economy already ailing thanks to a four-year internal secessionist conflict are expected to go into effect March 18, 2020.

Prescribed by the Head of State, Paul Biya, the 13-point measures were made public by Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, on state media after an inter-ministerial crisis meeting on the virus.

As per the measure taken, all land, air and sea borders of Cameroon will be closed: all passenger flights from abroad are suspended, except cargo flights and ships carrying products of current consumption as well as essential goods and materials, whose layovers will be limited and supervised.

As regards Cameroonians wishing to return to the country, the Premier advised they will have to get attached to the various diplomatic missions for considerations. Also, entry visas to Cameroon at the various airports are suspended until further notice.

 Internally, all public and private training establishments belonging to different levels of education, from kindergarten to higher education, including vocational training centers and Higher institutions are closed.

Gatherings of more than fifty (50) people are prohibited throughout the national territory thus affecting sporting events like the FENASCO games and university games.

Drinking spots, restaurants and places of leisure have until 6 PM to shut their doors daily. Perhaps what’s more difficult to institute will be the system for regulating consumer flows in markets and shopping centers which the government said instituted.

Urban and interurban travels are also affected with the Prime Minister insisting that movement should only take place when necessary.

Airport in Yaounde (photo: Kayhan ERTUGRUL @creative commons)

Private health facilities, hotels and other accommodations, vehicles, and the specific equipment necessary for the implementation of the COVID-19 pandemic response plan are all exempted from the lockdown and drastic measures now in place.

Diplomatic missions, activities in the public and para-public sector are also suspended with people invited to strictly observe personal hygiene measures recommended by the World Health Organization.

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