Coronavrus cases in Cameroon has crossed the 1,000 mark consolidating her as covid-19 most impacted nation in Central Africa, doubling its tally in just fifteen days.
In early April, the country’s infection stood at 509. It has reached 1,017 as of April 18 according to records by the john Hopkins University tracking site. There are 117 recoveries with 22 deaths.
A social media push for president Paul Biya to address the nation did not pay off exactly but the president popped up on Thursday after a long public absence.
His meeting with the French ambassador was the first time he had directly commented on the COVID-19 crisis. A post on his official social media handles said he had discussed cooperation with the ambassador in the fight against the rampaging pandemic.
Cameroon like most African countries closed its borders – land, sea and air, suspended all academic activities but has not imposed a lockdown or curfew. Coordination of COVID-19 efforts has largely rested on Prime Minister Dion Nguthe.
In early April, a month after the first case of COVID-19 was recorded, Cameroonians mounted a social media campaign demanding that 87-year-old Paul Biya addresses the nation like most of his peers across the continent were doing.
Cameroon’s coronavirus tally as of April 3 stood at 509, Health Minister Manaouda Malachie confirmed in his daily briefing posted on Twitter.
Of the current figure, 203 were new cases that came from tests run 800 travellers arrived in the country recently. Cameroon also has 17 recovered patients with eight deaths.
“Our active case finding strategy is starting to pay off. We did 800 tests (majority of travelers) 203 of them are positive but asymptomatic, that we must leave the community and treat,” the Minister wrote in his post.
Cameroon is the most impacted country across Central Africa. Only DR Congo have passed the 100 mark in the region with 134. Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo Republic, Central African Republic and Chad have 21, 16, 22, 8 and 8 cases respectively.
The Minister in outlining government strategy to deal with the pandemic said six main measures were being implemented: massive and generalized testing, placement in immediate treatment of cases, active surveillance of suspect cases.
The remaining are awareness of the populations (hygiene, distance, etc.), border control and development of reliable local expertise for the response.