The Cameroonian government announced it has partially relaxed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in place as of Thursday, April 30. According to reports, the decision was made after a high number of reported patient recoveries from COVID-19 and a relatively low mortality rate in-country.
Authorities announced that bars, restaurants and leisure facilities will be allowed to extend their closing time after 18:00 (local time) with immediate effect as of April 30. Customers and users of these establishments must continue to respect and adhere to social distancing measures, including respecting barriers in place and wearing face masks.
Public transport, including buses, taxis and mototaxis, are continuing operations as normal, though they must adhere to social distancing measures by only allowing the mandatory number of passengers on board and they must ensure passengers wear face masks.
As of Monday, April 13, the use of protective face masks is mandatory in all public spaces nationwide. Individuals found to be violating the measure are liable to be sanctioned by authorities.
The government also previously ordered the closure of mosques and churches and banned public gatherings of more than 50 people, as of March 18. On Friday, April 24, police forcibly dispersed congregants that had gathered at mosques for the first day of Ramadan in defiance of COVID-19 restrictions. At least 13 mosques were reportedly cleared out by security forces in the West, Center, and Far North regions.
As of March 18, all land, air, and sea borders remain closed and passenger flights from abroad remain suspended. Only cargo ships and flights bringing food and essential items will be allowed to enter the country. School and university classes also remain suspended nationwide.
As of Friday, May 1, there have been 1832 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Cameroon, including 61 associated fatalities.
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.
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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