News Alerts

24 Apr 2020 | 05:45 PM UTC

Cameroon: Police forcibly disperse mosque congregants amid COVID-19 lockdown measures April 24 /update 5

Cameroon News Alert

Police forcibly disperse mosque congregants in West, Center, and Far North regions amid COVID-19 lockdown measures April 24; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/24/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/15/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Douala). COUNTRY/REGION Cameroon

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Event

Police on Friday, April 24, forcibly dispersed congregants that had gathered at mosques for the first day of Ramadan in defiance of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)-related restrictions. At least 13 mosques were reportedly cleared out by security forces in the West, Center, and Far North regions. The Cameroonian government has ordered the closure of mosques and banned public gatherings of more than 50 people amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

As of Monday, April 13, the use of protective face masks is mandatory in all public spaces nationwide in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Anyone not complying with the new measure is liable to be sanctioned by authorities.

Additional measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 are in effect until further notice. All land, air, and sea borders remain closed and passenger flights from abroad are suspended. Only cargo ships and flights bringing food and essential items will be allowed to enter the country. Authorities have also suspended issuing entry visas at airports. Government and public workers are also prohibited from traveling abroad.

School and university classes are suspended nationwide, along with sporting events. All bars, restaurants, and similar establishments must close by 18:00 (local time). Bus, taxi, and mototaxi drivers are being advised to avoid overloading their vehicles. Authorities are also asking the public to avoid intercity travel unless absolutely necessary.

To date, there have been 1430 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country and 43 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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