National And International News Roundup – 22nd May 2020

Some 112 new coronavirus cases,14 treated and three deaths recorded today May 22nd in Cameroon. This was revealed by statistics from the Ministry of public health. The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Manaouda Malachie has announced that a nationwide campaign to sensitise the population on the need to respect the measures put in place by the government in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 will kick off in the days ahead.

Cameroon now has one of the highest COVID-19 case increase rates in the World. With over 500 new coronavirus cases recorded in under 24 hours, Cameroon now tops the chart, beating countries like Chile, Brazil and even Spain. There are fears it will get worse if nothing is done to end further spread of the virus.

The Banso Baptist Hospital has provided some children living with disabilities in Kumbo, North West Region with COVID-19 emergency kits and foodstuff. Talking at the distribution ceremony, BBH Senior Administrator- Wirba Samuel said the CBC Health Services has as mission statement to extend its care to everyone.

Some Muslim faithfuls in Maroua, Far North Region of Cameroon say the decision of the Lamido of Maroua to cancel prayers for the feast of Ramadan is politically motivated and an insult to religion. This group of Maroua city Muslim faithfuls questions why such prayers should only be cancelled within the Maroua Lamidate, while faithfuls pray elsewhere. In a press release on Wednesday May 20th 2020, Lamido Bakary Bouba said faithfuls in Maroua must stay away from group prayers in order to curb the spread of Coronavirus. The religious leader said faithfuls could assemble in their private homes with family members in strict respect of the preventive measures.

There is a resurgence in armed separatists activities along the Kumba-Mamfe road in the South West Region of Cameroon. Travelers on the stretch Friday May 22nd, 2020 were blocked around Talangaye and Ebanga villages for several hours following a blockade mounted by armed separatists. Movement was however re-established after the intervention of the defense and security forces.

Human Rights Watch says Cameroon has a fundamental obligation to treat all prisoners with humanity and respect. Addressing the treatment of sick jailed separatist leader Barrister Shufai Blaise, HRW says transfering him to a “crowded prison setting where transmission of Covid-19 is more likely seriously enhances the threats to his health and life.”

A huge consignment of illicit drugs has been intercepted at the coast of the Littoral Region by elements of the Marine brigade of the National Gendarmerie. The goods according to security forces were brought in from the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The illicit drugs mainly composed of chloroquine are believed to have been smuggled in to treat Coronavirus. The same operation permitted the seizure of a ton of illicit drugs meant for Tiko from Nigeria.

Students in Meiganga in Cameroon’s Adamawa Region say they are paying a heavy price for returning home during the COVID-19 break. Over ten students’ rooms have been broken into by robbers that made away with any valuables they could find.

President Paul Biya’s personal doctor has passed away supposedly of Covid-19. Colonel Etoundi Marius passed away earlier today 22nd of May in Yaounde. He was buried moments later.

Three months after Ngarbuh killings in Donga Mantung Division in the North West, a military base has been set up in the locality. This is one of the recommendations of a commission that investigated the killings by the military on February 14th 2020.

Some people in Donga Mantung Division and other parts of Cameroon say the military base in Ngarbuh is not the priority the at the moment. To them, inhabitants of the locality will be uncomfortable living with those who killed their relatives last February. They call on government to exhume the corpses for proper burial and equally pay compensation to relatives of victims.

Church leaders of Kingship International Ministry in Douala are in a spiritual retreat to seek revelations of what caused the death of Prophet Ndifor Franklin Afanwi. The christians and family continue to denounce claims that the man of God died of coronavirus.

The count down narrows to minutes for the celebration of the feast of Ramadan in Cameroon. Muslim spiritual leaders are looking up to the sky to see the moon and start celebration. Failure to see the moon this evening, the feast shall be automatically celebrated on Sunday 24th May that will mark 30 days of fasting.

After spending a week in captivity, Mayor Chombong Joseph of Ndop in the North West Region has regained his freedom. Held by suspected separatist fighters, they had earlier requested the sum of 15 million FCFA for his release. While some say he escaped from captivity, others say an undisclosed sum was paid for his release. Reports say others taken with him are still in captivity.

A senior politician has sparked disbelief among Tanzanians by claiming that coronavirus in the country “has ended”. Paul Makonda, regional commissioner of the country’s biggest city Dar es Salaam, called on the public to celebrate in the streets on Sunday. He even told residents which shops had 80%-off sales, so they could buy new clothes for the street party. His comments go against World Health Organization (WHO) social distancing advice.

The authorities in Nigeria say they are concerned that people are buying large quantities of hydroxychloroquine – a drug touted, but not yet proven, to help cure Covid-19. Head of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Boss Mustapha, said the government had through its surveillance system, received reports of abuse of the anti-malaria drug. “We wish to reiterate that this drug has not been certified for use in treating Covid-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities. “Self-medication of any kind is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties,” he said.

Guinean singer Mory Kante, a reknown vocalist and instrumentalist, has died aged 70. His son told news agency AFP that the maestro had died in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, after a long illness. Kante is best known for his song “Yeke Yeke,” which was a huge hit in Africa before becoming number one in several European countries in 1988.

Teachers in Zimbabwe have opposed a phased reopening of schools saying safety measures were not yet in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports. The teachers’ union chairperson, Sifiso Ndlovu, was quoted in the paper as saying that if the government proceeded with the plan, teachers would go on strike. Zimbabwe’s education ministry recently announced plans to reopen schools starting with final year students to allow them to sit for national examinations starting on 29 June.

Dozens of human rights organisations from around the world have signed an open letter to the Egyptian authorities calling for a full investigation into the death of a young filmmaker in a maximum security prison. Shady Habash was 24 when he died earlier this month, and had already been detained without trial for more than two years. He was acccused of spreading fake news and belonging to an illegal organisation over a music video that made fun of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

A United Nations war crimes prosecutor has confirmed the death of a major suspect in the Rwandan genocide. A statement said DNA tests had proved that remains found in a grave in Congo-Brazzaville were those of Augustin Bizimana. The announcement follows last weekend’s arrest in Paris of Félicien Kabuga, who had also been on the run after being indicted by an international tribunal for Rwanda. Bizimana was the minister of defence at the time of the 1994 genocide.

At least 13 Kenyans have died from cholera since the onset of the current rains in the country. The health ministry says the fatalities have been recorded in the northern part of the country. More than 500 cases of cholera have been reported. The outbreak started in Garissa and spread to Wajir, Turkana, Muranga, Marsabit counties. Minister Mutahi Kagwe attributed the outbreak to flooding that led to poor sanitation as pit latrines contaminated all water points.

(Foreign news: BBC)

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