Human life, they say, has no duplicate and any responsible citizen, community and government cannot afford to be indifferent in the face of a pandemic as scary as Coronavirus. As expected, the government of Cameroon has come out, loud and clear, with wide-ranging measures to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19, which has gone from an epidemic to a pandemic, registering already 170,000 cases in 146 countries, and about 6,500 deaths.
In effect, the 13 measures made public by Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute yesterday March 17, 2020 cut across all areas of national life and touch on human activities which could serve as vectors for the rapid spread of the killer virus. For instance, closing the country’s land, air and sea borders, suspending issuance of entry visas into the country, closing schools and suspending school competitions, prohibiting densely-populated gatherings et al could help contain the virus.
That 10 cases are already registered in the country, at press time, is scary enough to leave any stone unturned in the solution-seeking measures. Critics might qualify the government’s move contained in the 13 already clearly defined measures as belated; looking at other countries, but there is need for all hands to be put on deck to keep the virus under serious check.
The government’s decision no doubt, penalises socio-economic activities, but no one needs to be told that human life has got no substitute. Cameroon may rejoice today that no death has been recorded yet; hoping it will not at all, but working towards saving precious life is noble. In countries where the virus has hit hard, records show that it has not known any bounds. People of all social strata have been affected and so Cameroonians must readjust and supplement government action to save themselves and the nation. For, a country that has already set growth objectives obviously depends on a healthy workforce. Health, they say, is wealth.
It goes without saying that all and sundry need to stretch full length to ensure that the measures announced by PM Dion Ngute on instructions of the Head of State move from paper to real implementation. Someone somewhere would argue if Cameroon really has borders, especially land, owing to their porous nature. But law enforcement officers absolutely need to swing into full action to right wrongs where noticeable. There is no room for collusion whatsoever as the Covid-19 has known no race, language or religion. All Cameroonians must join hands in building defensive measures against the killer disease. In fact, one for all!
As the government actions are implemented therefore, Cameroonians must not also relent in scrupulously respecting the pre-emptive measures already outlined by public health stakeholders within and without the country. As recommended by the World Health Organisation for example, hygiene measures including regular hand washing with soap, avoiding close contact such as shaking hands or hugging, and covering the mouth when sneezing should be made even stricter. Prevention, medics say, is better that cure and each Cameroonian should serve not only as protector, for himself, but for the entire community as well. People should fully embrace recommended procedures and save themselves from the trauma of getting infected or losing precious life to the preventable virus. The Head of State’s tweet on the virus prior to the Prime Minister’s outing should be seriously taken into consideration.
Like the Prime Minister observed, the measures are difficult but necessary to ensure the protection of each and every one and to limit the spread of this pandemic. Right steps taken in good faith, giving priority to irreplaceable human life and which must be adhered to wholly.