Cameroon on Tuesday announced the closure of its air, land and sea borders in response to the new coronavirus pandemic.
High schools, colleges and universities have been closed as a preventative measure to curb the spread of the disease.
Announcing the measures, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said: “All passenger flights from abroad will be suspended except for cargo flights and ships carrying daily consumer goods as well as essential goods and materials, whose stopover times will be limited and supervised.”
Shopkeepers in the city of Douala who are supplied by China or Italy are worried about the future. The country’s Chamber of Commerce says imports have declined since the pandemic started.
“We’ve been stable for almost three months now, even though we’re used to travelling at least once or twice a month. So it’s really crippled our industry, it’s really crippled our ability to move forward. Even in Italy, because I was also restocking there, in Europe,” Charles Tekeu, a trader said.
On his part, Parfait Gwodok Koung, Secretary General of the Chamber of Commerce said: “As a Chamber of Commerce, we are used to the import of over 100 shoes and clothing containers per month. So to enable Cameroonian children to have shoes and clothes, the price for these imports alone has gone down.”
The issuance of entry visas at the various airports is also suspended and “gatherings of more than 50 people” prohibited.