Cameroon Coronavirus Cases Jump to 88, Over 500 in Confinement

The number of confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in Cameroon rose to 88 on Thursday, authorities said blaming the rapid spread in part on non-respect of a semi lockdown rules by citizens.

The country had 75 confirmed cases 24 hours earlier.

The Minister of Public Health, Dr Manaouda Malachie told a press conference that the country now has 60 confirmed cases in the capital Yaounde, 25 in Douala and three in Bafoussam in the West region.

He said the that the patients were responding "very well" to treatment but feared the number may rise as over 500 other potential victims are in confinement waiting to be tested.

"There are 271 people confined in Yaounde and 289 in Douala," he said.

The government rolled out a 13-point measure aimed at preventing and stemming the spread of the virus, effective since March 18.

The Prime Minister and Head of Government, Dr Joseph Dion Ngute said president Paul Biya had ordered all public gatherings of more than 50 people proscribed, systematic closing of bars, restaurants and leisure spots from 6pm, the ban on overloading in buses, taxis and motorbikes, urban and inter-urban travel restrictions, the regulation of consumer flows in markets and shopping centres and the social distancing prescribed by the World Health Organization.

However, some Cameroonians have not heeded to the rules as many still booze after the 6pm deadline especially in spots found in remote neighbohoods and still gather in large crowds.

On Tuesday, PM Ngute said the restrictive measures will now be applied with utmost rigor and offenders will face the law.

He said administrative and municipal authorities as well the police have been empowered to take all the necessary measures to ensure everyone obeys the prescribed rules at all times.

The Cameroon penal code punishes--with an imprisonment term of between three months and three years--"anyone who by his conduct facilitates the transmission of a contagious and dangerous disease."

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