While most countries across the continent and the world at large strictly impose and enforce COVID-19 lockdown measures, in Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, the reverse is the case.
Life before the virus seems to continue unchanged except for the closure of borders and schools, football parks and children’s playgrounds are open to games with no restrictions.
The markets also remain chocked with only few respecting social distancing measures. The imposed wearing of masks also seems to be openly flouted. A situation some find worrying.
Claude Epoh, a construction engineer, bemoans the state of affairs: “It’s terrible, look, look, it’s a mess all over the place and people have become used to this, they are now acclimatised to it and it doesn’t bother them at all.
“It’s their daily routine now. Look at the bars, people are kissing, talking mouth to mouth with saliva coming out of their mouths, it doesn’t mean anything to anybody.”
But for others, it is time for the government to enforce virus prevention measures more strictly. One such person is Samuel Ebang, a computer scientist who said it was scandalous what was currently pertaining.
“We are all outraged by this laxity of the population. But what are we going to do about it? This is a decision that comes from the government. It is up to them to find solutions to make the people of Cameroon safe.”
The authorities unveiled a newly constructed unit, to be used as a confinement center for COVID-19 patients.
The country remains Central Africa’s most impacted with 2,689 cases as of May 13, the death toll was at 125 with 1,524 recoveries according to John Hopkins University tallies.