National and international news roundup for April 2, 2020

About seven persons have been shot in Vekovi- North West Region. Talking to MMI, a source said soldiers raided the village this evening, shooting at random. “We are still in the bushes and do not know when we will return home …I am safe but by grandmother and my brother’s kids are not safe” the source adds in tears. Despite a call for ceasefire by some separatist groups, government attacks have increased in the North West and South West Regions.

Some 180 internally displaced persons, (IDPs) are stranded after torrential rains in Ebebda in Lekié division of the Center Region. Damages incured included over 25 homes for the IDPs some of whom had arrived from the North West and South West Regions less than a month ago. Their current plight is made worse by the fear of becoming victims of the coronavirus pandemic.

Switzerland has congratulated the Southern Cameroon Defence Force (SOCADEF) for calling for a ceasefire in the North West and South West regions in response to the UN’s call. The Cameroon government is yet to make any comment on SOCADEF’s decision.

Despite controversy surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, MPs will meet tomorrow for a plenary session at 10.30 am. The representatives are set to hold a “general discussion” on three bills. Prior to the plenary session, the conference room of the national assembly will house the Conference of Presidents at 10 a.m.

Defence Minister, Joseph Beti Assomo and his territorial administration counterpart, Paul Atanga Nji are both in the South region for a working visit. For two days, both ministers will stay in Ebolowa, Kye-Ossi and other places in the region as they assess the security situation and the fight against the Covid-19.

Taxi drivers around Marché de fleurs in Douala today carried out a protest calling for a reduction of fuel prices. This they said will enable them cope with measures against COVID-19. Authorities had requested that they reduce the number of passengers to curb spread of the virus.

Inmates at the Kondengui prison in Yaounde say they fear for their lives after some warders of another detention facility were quarantined. A potential transmission of the virus to warders and other inmates at the facility they say will be disastrous. Days back, Human Rights Watch had called for better conditions for inmates.

Scientific Research and Innovation Minister, Madeleine Tchuinte today paid a working visit to the Institute for Medical Research and Studies in Medicinal Plants (IMPM). Her visit came about as part of her ministry’s response plan against the Covid-19 virus. Cameroon has 308 positive cases of the virus already.

Three hundred and six (306) cases of coronavirus in Cameroon and eight deaths. These are the statistics given this evening in a press conference in Yaounde. The Minister of public health says than 10 coronavirus patients have been treated.

An association of PhD holders working in the ministries of basic, secondary and higher education is proposing a two weeks lock down of the cities of Douala and Yaounde to curb the spread of coronavirus. In a 14 page document tabled at the Presidency and other ministries, the intellectuals proposed several measures that should be adopted to stop the spread of the virus.

“The government of Cameroon is not serious to solve the anglophone crisis”. That is the observation of the CEO of One Cameroon media group. Mua Roland says the media group has gone bankrupt and will be shutting down in the days ahead. He blames the government for not supporting the project financially even after standing for an indivisible Cameroon.

The National Assembly in Cameroon has been disinfected. This was shortly before a plenary session of less than 50 MPs. Many Cameroonians have pointed the National Assembly as a possible site for the spread of the deadly pandemic.

Markets and other business centres at the Douala 2 and 5 councils have been disinfected today. A measure saluted by traders as a means to limit the spread of coronavirus. This is the second time that markets at Douala 2 have been disinfected.

Cameroonians from coronavirus infected countries placed in quarantine since 17th of March have not been set free. Those confined at Jet Hotel in Douala expressed their discontent today in the hotel .There has been no official statement while some have been in quarantine after 14 days . Meantime those placed in quarantine at Olembe low cost houses in Yaounde decry poor treatment by authorities in terms of feeding.

The demand for face masks in Cameroon markets and pharmacies on the rise . This follows a call by the Minister of public health for Cameroonians to wear masks when in public. Masks previously sold for 500frs today cost 1500frs as a result of high demand.

Kenya’s Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe has criticised Kenyans for their mockery of two Kenyans who recovered from coronavirus. Kenyans online have criticised the announcement of the two recoveries on Wednesday – during a press conference – saying it was a publicity stunt by the government.

Amnesty International in Nigeria is urging state security agencies not to “abuse their powers” when it comes to enforcing movement restrictions across the country. Videos have been circulating online of citizens out on the streets being beaten by law enforcement agencies.

Tributes are being paid to Somalia’s former Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, also known as “Nur Adde”, who died of coronavirus in London on Wednesday. The 82-year-old, a former police officer who trained as a lawyer, was prime minister between November 2007 and February 2009 – when he was credited for his hands-on leadership.

Zambia has recorded its first death from coronavirus, with the total number of people testing positive rising to 39. Health Minister Chitalu Chilufya confirmed at a press briefing that the death occurred this morning. He said that three new cases had been recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 39.

A clinic in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg, has been closed after a nurse tested positive for coronavirus.

It is thought the health worker contracted the virus after attending a church service in another province last month. All staff members who worked with the nurse are now in self-isolation. It is understood some of them are already showing coronavirus-related symptoms and are awaiting test results.

One of Africa’s – and the world’s – great natural wonders, the Victoria Falls, has roared back to life, just months after a severe drought in southern Africa caused parts of it to dry up. Known locally as Mosi-oa-Tunya, the “Smoke that Thunders”, it straddles the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is a World Heritage site.

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