Today April 6 marks a month after the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Cameroon.
The country has since witnessed a sharp rise to over 650 cases with calls for more to be done.
Government strategy, Minister Manaouda Malachie says includes “massive and generalised testing, placement in immediate treatment of cases, active surveillance of suspected cases, awareness of the populations (hygiene, distance, etc.), border control, development of reliable local expertise for the response.”
Despite these, the number of positive cases the health Minister warns “will still climb these days with the massive testing campaign that we launched.”
So far, the affected towns in the country are Bafoussam, Yaounde, Douala, and Limbe and Buea in the South West Region.
With testing centres for the virus only in Douala and Yaounde , a debate has been raised on how effective the fight against the virus is, with time playing a major role in diagnosis, treatment and containment of suspected cases.
To human rights lawyer and head of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, Nkongho Felix Agbor, cameroonians should rely less on the government and more on personal measures.
“We should collectively fight against the spread of this pandemic. Each and every citizen can play a role. Don’t rely only on the Government” he says, urging the public to remain indoors as much as possible.
Days back, health expert, Dr Nick Ngwanyam had raised a similar worry on government action, noting that it was time to put aside politics and bring in experts to fight against the virus.
“If we keep on mixing and rubbing shoulders it shall continue to rise and kill all of us because of our stubbornness and foolishness. We play politics instead of doing what is right, just and good. We think the virus respects our ranks positions and wealth. Our foolishness will bury all of us” he told MMI.
The absence of President Paul Biya has not made things any easier, as many have sought to know his whereabouts to no avail.
Despite claims from some government officials that he is in good shape, there has been no sight of him for weeks now.
Earlier today, a man was arrested in Douala after taking to the streets to demand a response from the President regarding the current health pandemic.
The individual carried a placard demanding the whereabouts of the head of state, a similar concern millions of Cameroonians within the country and beyond have not been able to get concrete answers to.
Filling the void of the statesman, a platform has been created to enable Cameroonians better combat the COVID-19 virus rapidly spreading across the national territory. The brainchild of Maurice Kamto, the initiative, Survie-Cameroon-Survival Initiative (SCSI) transcends political, ethnic, religious and philosophical differences.
With a target of 1million Euros for the fight against COVID-19, Survie-Cameroon-Survival Initiative has been able to pull in 221000 Euros (144.705FCFA) from donors so far.
Despite the expected impact of measures and the funds coming in, many believe Cameroon’s darkest days of the pandemic are yet to be over.