Below is the special statement made by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute on April 9, 2020 on the heels of the Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting on the Government's response strategy.
« Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Inter-Ministerial Committee in charge of monitoring and evaluating the implementation of Government' s response strategy to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Cameroon, met this Thursday, 9 April 2020, through videoconference.
This meeting was preceded by two important working sessions, held on the instructions of the Head of State, with representatives of religious denominations, and leaders of political parties represented in Parliament.
The objective of these meetings was to further involve civil society in the implementation of Government's response strategy against the spread of COVID-19.
During these two working sessions, the religious authorities and political party leaders present unanimously welcomed the relevance and appropriateness of the measures prescribed on 17 March 2020 by the Head of State.
They also made various proposals aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the measures being implemented in the fight against COVID-19, and expressed their commitment to support Government' s efforts to limit the spread of this virus in our country.
The meeting of the inter-ministerial committee on the fight against COVID-19, for its part, provided an opportunity to review the implementation of the measures already taken to curb the spread of this disease in our country and, above all, to outline prospects.
At the end of the discussions that followed the various reports presented during this meeting, the following additional measures were taken, in accordance with the directives of the Head of State:
1. the general wearing of masks, from Monday 13 April 2020, in all spaces open to the public. The Minister of Industry has been instructed to publish the technical standards and specifications for the mass production of these masks locally;
2. the local production of medicines, protective masks, and hand sanitizers, by competent national institutions, under the supervision of the Minister of Scientific Research, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health;
3. the establishment of specialized treatment centres for COVID-19 patients in all regional capitals, following the field hospital model, to receive patients in case of a peak of the epidemic, and to allow hospitals to operate normally;
4. intensification of the COVID-19 screening campaign, with the collaboration of Centre Pasteur and its branches, as well as other relevant health institutions. Emphasis will be laid on already identified affected areas ;
5. intensification of the awareness-raising campaign in urban and rural areas, both in the two official languages and in local languages, through complementary channels of communication to be defined by the Minister of Communication, with the support of administrative, municipal, traditional and religious authorities;
6. the continuation of activities essential to the economy, in strict compliance with the directives of 17 March 2020 and the measures recommended by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the disease;
7. the systematic sanctioning of any breach of the restriction and confinement imposed on persons at risk.
To conclude, I would like to point out that, on the instruction of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Paul BIYA, the Government is considering accompanying measures that could mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 in the various sectors of activity that have suffered the most.
I urge the population to become actively involved in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in our country, by scrupulously observing the measures prescribed by Government, especially the prohibition of gatherings and the restriction of non-essential urban and inter-urban travel.
Thank you. »
Prime Minister Dion Ngute, « I urge the population to become actively involved in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 in our country. »