July 12: COVID-19 certificates, medical losses
Cameroon’s Halth Minister, Manaouda Malachie over the weekend gave two major updates on COVID-19 combat – one on air travel regulations and the other on loss of key health professional.
The Minister said flights to Cameroon will have to ensure passengers present virus test results before boarding. “Negative COVID-19 PCR test not older than three (03) days mandatory for all boarding passengers.
“Passengers who do not comply with this measure shall be prevented from travelling with these airlines,” the Minister added. The move is in line with latest regulations being imposed by countries reopening their airspaces to international traffic.
On the loss to the medical fraternity, the state-run CRTV reported the death on Friday of Dr. Anastasie Akamba, head of a district hospital in the capital Yaounde who died from COVID-19.
The state broadcaster said she had been in respiratory distress for days before succumbing. She was also the doctor for the Under-17 national women’s football team. The football federation confirmed the death last Friday, July 10.
“Deeply touched by this other big loss that we are registering within the medical professional, I would like to express all my compassion to the bereaved families. We will continue to improve the protection of health personnel throughout this crisis,” Minister Manaouda tweeted.
- Confirmed cases = 15,173
- Active cases = 2,886
- Recoveries = 11,928
- Number of deaths = 359
John Hopkins Uni stats valid as of July 13, 2020
Dr Anastasie Akamba, directrice de l’hôpital de District de la Cité Verte et médecin des #LionnesU17 est décédée ce jour des suites de maladie. Pensées émues pour la famille et ce serviteur du football féminin. pic.twitter.com/fKJm5ImfRC
— Fecafoot-Officiel (@FecafootOfficie) July 10, 2020
May 2 – 3: Switzerland gives $5m support, health workers strike
Switzerland has donated three billion CFA francs to help Cameroon combat coronavirus, its ambassador Pietro Lazzer told state broadcaster, CRTV.
According to the diplomat, the amount is for humanitarian efforts. Aside the donation, his country was also coordinating support from Swiss companies in Cameroon to help in the response. He also touched on repatriation of nationals from Cameroon back home and vice versa.
He reiterated that Switzerland also fully backed the ceasefire calls in restive regions as advocated by the United Nations Secretary-General last month. “Violence needs to stop in this area because the fighting of COVID-19 is a priority,” he said.
Cameroon’s virus statistics as of May 4 stood at: 2,077 cases with 64 deaths and 953 recoveries. The country remains the most impacted in the Central Africa region.
Staff from the main #COVID19 response center in Cameroon on strike as they claim that despite being highly exposed, they haven’t received any pay or insurance. 150 were apparently dismissed. https://t.co/2Q2kIa1krO
— Rebecca Enonchong (@africatechie) May 3, 2020
Health workers recruited by the Ministry of Public Health at the beginning of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Cameroon protested the non-payment of their salaries yesterday in Yaoundé, Centre Region.
According to reports, the workers have gone for weeks without payment. pic.twitter.com/TvLxzCADXK
— Gina Sondo ?? (@GinaSondo) May 3, 2020
April 24: Cameroon records recovery boom amid tally controversy
Cameroon Health Minister gave updates on coronavirus figures weeks after he opted against releasing figures via his Twitter account. The latest figures by Minister Manaouda Malachie indicate a boom in recoveries which now stand at 688.
At last count April 23, recoveries were at 397 meaning an increase of 291 had been recorded. He released the figures after a government COVID-19 pandemic assessment meeting on Friday.
“Today’s statistics show 1,430 people infected, including 692 active, 120 hospitalized and 20 on respiratory assistance. 668 recovered and 43 deaths. We continue to control this virus,” his post read in part.
The figures have however become the subject of disputation after some Twitter users point out that they did not add up. “The numbers do not add up sir, 692 + 668 + 43 is equal to 1403 not 1430,” one tweep observed.
“The numbers are totally confusing. And the differences between these and those in the Ministry of Health official report to partners from two days ago adds to the confusion,” another user chipped in.
As per the John Hopkins University data which Africanews relies on, active confirmed cases stood at 719, as against the 692 cases reported by the Minister. The Africa CDC and WHO Africa region had yet to release daily tallies at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry posted a statement on its official Facebook page with a case count of 1332 across eight regions of the country. It is silent on active cases but quotes 688 and 43 in respect of recoveries and deaths.
April 18: Cameroon crosses 1,000 cases mark
Cameroon consolidated its spot as Central Africa’s most impacted nation doubling its coronavirus tally in fifteen days and going past the 1,000 mark.
In early April, the country’s infection stood at 509. It has reached 1,017 as of April 18 according to records by the john Hopkins University tracking site. There are 117 recoveries with 22 deaths.
A social media push for president Paul Biya to address the nation did not pay off exactly but the president popped up on Thursday after a long public absence.
His meeting with the French ambassador was the first time he had directly commented on the COVID-19 crisis. A post on his official social media handles said he had discussed cooperation with the ambassador in the fight against the rampaging pandemic.
Cameroon like most African countries closed its borders – land, sea and air, suspended all academic activities but has not imposed a lockdown or curfew. Coordination of COVID-19 efforts has largely rested on Prime Minister Dion Nguthe.
In early April, a month after the first case of COVID-19 was recorded, Cameroonians mounted a social media campaign demanding that 87-year-old Paul Biya addresses the nation like most of his peers across the continent were doing.
April 3: Cameroon records 203 new cases as COVID-19 tally hits 509
Cameroon’s coronavirus tally as of April 3 stood at 509, Health Minister Manaouda Malachie confirmed in his daily briefing posted on Twitter.
Of the current figure, 203 were new cases that came from tests run 800 travellers arrived in the country recently. Cameroon also has 17 recovered patients with eight deaths.
“Our active case finding strategy is starting to pay off. We did 800 tests (majority of travelers) 203 of them are positive but asymptomatic, that we must leave the community and treat,” the Minister wrote in his post.
Cameroon is the most impacted country across Central Africa. Only DR Congo have passed the 100 mark in the region with 134. Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo Republic, Central African Republic and Chad have 21, 16, 22, 8 and 8 cases respectively.
The Minister in outlining government strategy to deal with the pandemic said six main measures were being implemented: massive and generalized testing, placement in immediate treatment of cases, active surveillance of suspect cases.
The remaining are awareness of the populations (hygiene, distance, etc.), border control and development of reliable local expertise for the response.