Cameroon accused of taking coronavirus lightly

Measures to combat the novel coronavirus in Cameroon are triggering an avalanche of criticism in one of the countries most affected by the pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

With late border closures, no containment period, bars, and restaurants remaining open, masks imposed late, schools and universities reopening prematurely, the country seemed to stall and then sail on sight, suggesting that the authorities did not take the danger of the Covid-19 seriously when many other African countries imposed radical measures very early on.

President Paul Biya only appeared publicly on television on 19 Ma when pressured by the opposition and even the WHO, after over two months of silence.

In less than two months, the country reported a rise in cases from one to over 6 500 in early June, with more than 200 deaths out of a population of over 25 million.

“We are seeing a particularly serious progression of the epidemic. It’s extremely serious,” said Professor Eugene Sobngwi, vice president of the scientific council at the health ministry.

The assessments “should not alarm us because so far the government has been in control of the situation,” said Health Minister Manaouda Malachi on state radio on 1 June in response to countless worries and criticisms on social media.

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