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Mayor David Mafani Namange with a face mask during a demolition exercise of illigal building sites in the municipality

COVID-19: Compulsory Wearing of Face Masks begins in Cameroon

April 14, 2020

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Mayor David Mafani Namange with a face mask during a demolition exercise of illigal building sites in the municipality
Mayor David Mafani Namange with a face mask during a demolition exercise of illigal building sites in the municipality

Cameroonians across the national spectrum has begun a compulsory wearing of face mask in a bit to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

The compulsory wearing of mask is amongst seven new measures put in place by Cameroon’s Prime Minister Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute. In a communiqué, the Minister said as from Monday April 13, 2020, Cameroonians are supposed to be found wearing a mask when they leave their homes.

Moving along the streets of Buea, chief town of the South West Region, almost everyone is with a mask, from taxi drivers to business persons. However, others still do not respect the measures that have been put in place.

One of the interesting things notice while observing the population was the diversity and type of mask worn. Just by noticing the population it was observed that locally produced mask outnumbered that of surgical or prescribed face masks. Caution has been raised by some medical personnel who say where those locally produced masked are made is very important as the population might get themselves infected unknowingly. 

The new measures also include the local production of medicines, protective masks, and hand sanitizers, the establishment of specialized treatment centres for COVID-19 patients in all regional capitals, intensification of screening and awareness-raising campaigns.

“I urged the population to become actively involved in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 in our country by scrupulously observing the measures prescribe by the government, especially the prohibition of gathering, and restriction of urban and inter-urban travel,” Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said.

A disinfection team was equally dispatched on April 10 to Olembe, a neighbourhood I the nation’s political capital Yaounde, the Minister of Public Health Dr Manaouda Malachie tweeted.

Cameroonians in Yaounde wear masks to protect themselves against the spread of the coronavirus
Cameroonians in Yaounde wear masks to protect themselves against the spread of the coronavirus

Security personnel has been charged to enforce this latest decision. There are equally reports that any person found without a mask will be liable to a fine. The bill for not wearing a mask is FCFA six thousand, while those not wearing face masks, but have it in their bag, pocket or car will have to pay FCFA two thousand.

The new rules add to the thirteen rules put in a place weeks ago by the Prime Minister. The previous rules involved the closing down of schools, social distancing, and closing of the country’s air, land, and sea borders.

The country has over 848 confirmed cases on Sunday, including 98 that recovered and 14 deaths.

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