Interim leaders of the self proclaimed state of Ambazonia serving life jail terms at the Yaounde Principal prison have decried their exposure to coronavirus in the prison.
“Guards come into the prison every morning and evening to open and lock the cell room doors. None of them have face mask, gloves or other personal protective equipment and they move from one cell room to another”members of Nera 10 explained to Mutations Newspaper.
“We know as a matter of fact that they get into taxis, motorcycles and mingle with people out there that makes them susceptible to infection of the virus or are potent vectors” they add.
Aware of the over 680 coronavirus cases in Cameroon as of April 7th 2020, Sisiku Ayuk Tabe Sisiku and co. say it is a clear indication that “there is a high degree of community transmission that is already taking place in Cameroon”.
With social distancing highly recommended by World Health Organization and the government of Cameroon,the inmates regret that Yaounde Principal Prison remains overcrowded with over 200 inmates cramped in less than 100 meter squares of space thereby making physical distancing practically impossible.
Given that Cameroon’s minister of public health has called on Cameroonians to wear face masks to prevent the spread of the virus, inmates say prison administrators have not distributed face masks to them but instead sell to visitors at the gate for the sum of 500f cfa.
Regretting the lack of coronavirus preventive measures in the prison, Ayuk Tabe and co. go beyond that lamenting the poor quality of food shared to prisoners. To them, many inmates who depend on the food shared in the prison are malnourished and therefore vulnerable to any infectious disease.
They have expressed the need for the government of President Paul Biya to listen to the international community and decongest prisons and safe inmates the double pains of contracting the virus.
As the prisoners find the administration of the prison wanting in ensuring their protection against coronavirus, they are maintaining measures to stop the spread of the disease.
For instance, they say they no longer greet with their hands, they have buckets of water and soap to wash their hands often. Despite this, maintaining self Isolation remains impossible given the overcrowded nature of the prison.
They equally revealed that the prison administration has restricted the number of people visiting the prison. This is in addition to water and soap placed at the entrance for people to wash and sanitize their hands before entering the facility.
Mimi Mefo Info.