The Government of the Republic has been following with much astonishment the smear and stigmatization campaign led against Cameroonian institutions by some foreign media and unscrupulous politicians, in relation to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cameroon.
This campaign, conspicuously masterminded by some behind-the-scene actors and denigrators of bad faith, comes in at a time when Cameroon as a whole is mobilized behind the Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya, to stop the progression of the Covid-19 pandemic and minimise, as much as possible, its impact on the health of populations living in Cameroon.
These media and politicians pretend that neither the preventive and restrictive measures personally prescribed by the Head of State, and reiterated time and again for about a month now, the strong and innovative operational arrangement made by health authorities under His High Guidance, nor the commitment of healthcare professionals mobilized throughout the national territory, are sufficient to attest to the fact that there is a national response strategy being implemented in Cameroon, that this response is carried out methodically and rigorously and that it bears encouraging fruits on a daily basis.
The Government of the Republic strongly rejects such untruths which are both unfair and despicable.
The Government reiterates that populations living in Cameroon have benefited and will continue to benefit trom all the attentions of the powers that be, in order to curb this pandemic from elsewhere that our country has to face, just as many other countries worldwide.
ln this regard, besides the barrier measures prescribed by the World Health Organization, the Government has launched the national response strategy comprising strong measures including quarantining of people from strongly affected countries as well as suspected cases, the anticipated detection of the virus through mass testing, the extension of testing and care centres beyond the city of Yaounde, the substantial increase in capacity of country health facilities and the use of unoccupied social housing in various regional chief towns, the approvement of a treatment protocol, and more recently, the authorization given by the Head of State for the local production of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin molecules for use as part of the approved treatment protocol.
ln addition, beyond public awareness initiatives, the Government has launched coercive actions in order to enforce ‘the observance of prescribed measures, including the systematic boarding and impoundment of any vehicle violating the said measures as well as the closing of restaurants and drinking spots that are open beyond authorized hours.
It should be pointed out that the thirteen measures initially prescribed by the Head of State and made public by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, on March 17, 2020, were followed by seven others, including the obligation, under penalty, for everyone to wear a face mask in a public place, throughout the national territory as trom April 13, 2020.
Last but not the least of measures, is the setting up by the President of the Republilc on March 30, 2020, of a Special Solidarity Fund for national COVID-19 response.
ln the light of the foregoing, the Cameroonian Government rejects all erroneous statements and biased comments of some ill-advised foreign media and politicians of bad faith on the management of the COVID-19 health crisis in Cameroon.
Moreover, rather than public speeches that some seem to be clamoring for, what matters for the Cameroonian people is the concrete action and the many guidelines prescribed by the President of the Republic and implemented by the Government.
The Government also warns those media and politicians who persist in their attempts to misinform and manipulate the national and international public for covert purposes.
ln any case, the Head of State, His Excellency Paul Biya, the Government of the Republic and the entire Cameroonian People, perfectly conscious of the seriousness of the situation, and of the necessity to face it, continue to join efforts with friendly countries and international partners, to contain the spread of the COVID-19 and minimize its negative effects in Cameroon.
Yaounde, on 16 April 2020
(s) René Emmanuel SADI
The Minister of Communication