With most regions affected, Cameroon now has 1832 coronavirus cases. With close to a thousand recoveries already, government says over 60 deaths have been recorded since the first case was diagnosed in the country.
The Minister of Public Health, Dr Manaouda Malachie has rejected Professor Maurice Kamto’s gifts to help fight Coronavirus in Cameroon according to the CRM party. Professor Maurice Kamto, President of the Cameroon Renaissance Movement political party today gave out 10, 000 face masks, 6800 special masks for medical doctors and 950 testing kits but the Minister refused to welcome the gesture. This is according to Christian Penda Ekoka, Coordinator of the Survie Cameroon Survival initiative.
Several night clubs and bars in Douala have been flooded by city dwellers. This happened just few minutes after the announced withdrawal of the measure to close down drinking spots as from 6 PM by the government of Cameroon. Though the government conditioned the new decision on the strict respect of social distancing and compulsory wearing of face masks, several persons could be seen without face masks sitting less than a meter away from each other in clubs across the city, Thursday April 30th 2020. There are fears this may increase the number of infections.
Inhabitants of the Moungo Division -Littoral Region of Cameroon say insecurity is at its peak in the area following the closure of schools, bars, restaurants and leisure places to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Their worries were expressed to security officials of Loum, at a scene were a commercial bike rider was brutally assassinated. The rider, 24-year-old Kelvin is a student who dashed into the commercial motorbike sector following school lockdown.
The SDO for Ndian Division says his division is in need of a thermoflash. To him, it’s to check people at the level of the borders with Nigeria and also calls on the authorities to send in more medical personnel to the Division. Forwang Lawrence was speaking in Mundemba recently during an evaluation meeting in the fight against coronavirus.
The President’s gifts to assist in the fight against coronavirus have arrived the South West Regional capital of Buea. Receiving the consignment, the South West Governor promised that the goods will reach all the Divisions and Subdivisions in the Region.
Dockers at the Douala Sea Port have again protested against poor working conditions, non respect of contract terms by their employer and low wages. Hundreds of them took hostage the second main entry way into the sea port demonstrating their anger and frustrations. The dockers also demanded the departure of the National Coordinator of the Cameroon Dockers Services
Cameroon’s national borders remain closed despite the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions this day. Among the nineteen measures read by the PM Dion Ngute, nothing has been mentioned about reopening the borders.
Some inhabitants of Makepe Misoke have carried out a peaceful demonstration today. They are standing against forceful eviction from their homes by some rich individuals. The Divisional Officer of Douala V who visited the scene has called for calm while promising a peaceful negotiation.
Some critics have described Hon. Jean Jacques Ekindi as a politician seeking for personal wealth and power. This follows his resignation from the Progressive Movement party today joining the CPDM party. Hon. Ekindi says as an opposition, his ideas were not taken into consideration. He resigned from a party he founded on the 23rd of August 1991.
Work conditions in Cameroon remain deplorable. Some employers continue to abuse the rights of workers by not paying their monthly salaries, no health care allowances and other advantages. As workers in Cameroon join others in the world to commemorate international labour day tomorrow May 1st, they are calling for improved work conditions. Note that there will be no public celebration in Cameroon.
Inhabitants of Kumbo-Bui Division in the North West Region say insecurity and coronavirus pandemic remain major threats to their health. Yesterday, two persons were injured as military men confronted separatist fighters in Mbve market.
Only six out of 15 companies that produce drugs are functioning in Cameroon today. This was revealed during a cabinet meeting in Yaounde today. PM Dion Ngute, presiding over the meeting stressed on the need for a concerted effort against COVID-19.
A shop keeper and a truck pusher have been wounded in Mbveh Market – Kumbo in the North West Region of Cameroon. A witness says this happened when military men confronted ambazonia fighters yesterday. Kumbo remains one of the strongholds for separatist fighters in the Anglophone regions.
A truck driver for Supermont and his assistant were injured today in Mutengene- South West Region as their truck ran into cars parked by the roadside. No one else was hurt in the accident.
Barrister Nkongho Felix Agbor says he will only cease teaching at the University of Buea if the school asks him to. Talking after his suspension by higher education Minister- Fame Ndongo, Barrister Nkongho says the suspension is connected with an exam question he set on the Anglophone crisis and his condemnation of human rights abuses by the government.
Human rights bodies have once more championed calls for the release of three Anglophone students jailed in 2017 for sharing a joke about the Boko Haram terrorist group in the Far North. Calling for their immediate and unconditional release, Ilaria Allegrozzi, Senior Researcher for Human Rights Watch tweeted: “Their lawyer filed an appeal to Supreme Court. This case is not only sad, it is a scandal. They should be immediately released”.
Reports from the Central African Republic say at least 37 people have been killed in an attack on the northern town of Ndele. Three rebel groups stormed the main market then attacked other parts of the town, setting up a base in a Catholic church. United Nations peacekeepers and another militia, which previously controlled Ndele, failed to fight off the attackers. Numerous rebel groups have been operating in the CAR since President Francois Bozize was overthrown seven years ago.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation has eulogised South African anti-apartheid activist Denis Goldberg as a “true patriot” and a “stalwart of struggle”. Mr Goldberg died on Wednesday night at the age of 87. His niece, Joy Noero, said he had been suffering from lung cancer. He was tried alongside Nelson Mandela and was imprisoned for 22 years. The Mandela Foundation said Mr Goldberg “was a member of a generation of leadership which shaped the country’s history in profound ways”. It quoted a line from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom which mentioned Mr Goldberg’s “irrepressible sense of humour” that “often had us laughing when we should not have been”.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a dead man into office, naming the late Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru as a board member for a government agency, two months after he died. Mr Buhari sent a letter to the country’s senate on Tuesday to confirm the list of 37 appointees but was unaware that Mr Okwuru had passed away in February. The president’s media aide, Lauretta Onochie, said Mr Okwuru was alive when the president appointed him to serve on the board and that “he even came to update his CV, in readiness for the appointment after the Senate screening”.
The tobacco industry in South Africa is preparing to take legal action in response to the government’s decision to continue the ban on cigarette sales when lockdown measures are eased on Friday. Last night the government announced more than 2,000 people signed a petition calling on the government not to lift the ban on tobacco products. The Fair Trade Independent Tobacco Association, which is mounting a legal challenge against the government, said that more than 270,000 South Africans signed a petition opposing the ban on cigarette sales. The petition started when smokers were given one day’s notice of the ban ahead of the lockdown which began at midnight on 26 March. They have described this short notice as unfair and spiteful.
Health authorities in Liberia have reportedly invited the National Security Agency “to screen” the phones of laboratory technicians because of coronavirus test results leaking to the public, the independent Monrovia’s OK-FM has reported. Quoting technicians, the station reported that the action became necessary when news spread on social media that President George Weah had tested positive for the virus, information that the president’s office has since denied. News about the president’s Covid-19 status spread after the ministers of justice and information tested positive of the virus. But the president’s chief of staff Nathaniel McGill has phoned into radio programs saying “the president is healthy”.
The charity Save the Children has warned that the Horn of Africa is facing an unprecedented triple threat as the region is hit by the coronavirus pandemic, locust swarms and flooding. The organisation says more than five million children under the age of five are already acutely malnourished and Covid-19 is now affecting the economy and health services. Vast new swarms of crop-eating locusts are expected in June, and rivers have been swollen by recent heavy rain. Save the Children has called for urgent international action to help Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia cope, saying the situation is completely overwhelming.
Kenyans online are outraged after the ministry of health spent huge sums on tea, snacks and mobile phone airtime for its staff in the battle against coronavirus pandemic. Some 4m Kenyan shillings ($37,000; £30,000) has been spent on tea and snacks, while 2m Kenyan shillings has been used on airtime for staff, according to the ministry’s budget that has been made public. This is part of a budget of 10m Kenyan shillings for tea and snacks for an unspecified period and 6m Kenyan shillings for airtime for three months. Other items in the budget include leasing of ambulances, stationary and fuel.
There has been an attempted prison break in Sierra Leone after a recently arrived inmate developed symptoms of coronavirus. A warden was killed and several others injured in the riot at Pademba Road prison in the capital, Freetown. The jail was set ablaze. Pademba Road prison has capacity for about 300 prisoners but currently houses more than 1,000. Criminal courts have been suspended for a month in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19 in jails. There have been 104 confirmed coronavirus cases in Sierra Leone and four deaths.
(Foreign news: BBC)