Cameroon closes borders to prevent COVID-19 spread

YAOUNDE, March 17 Xinhua | Cameroon on Tuesday evening issued strict preventive measures against COVID-19, including the suspension of inbound passenger transport.

Effective Wednesday until further notice, Cameroon’s land, air, and sea borders will be closed, consequently, all passenger flights from abroad will be suspended, with the exception of cargo flights and vessels, Cameroon’s Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said.

Visa issuance will also be suspended, schools closed, gathering of more than 50 banned, consumer flows at markets restricted, and urban and inter-city travel should only be undertaken in “extreme necessity”, Ngute added.

Earlier on Tuesday, before making the announcement, Ngute had chaired a crisis meeting with ministers over the pandemic.

“These are difficult but necessary measures to ensure the protection of each and every one”, he said. “The government calls on the public not to panic, but show discipline, solidarity, and a sense of responsibility at a time when the whole world is going through difficult times.”

Some other African countries have made similar decisions to contain the spread of the virus. Equatorial Guinea, for instance, has closed its borders since March 15; the Chadian government on Monday decided to close its international airports from March 19.

On Tuesday, the Confederation of African Football postponed the African Nations Championship. The competition was initially scheduled to take place from April 4 to April 25 in Cameroon.

Cameroon now has 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The first case was reported on March 6.

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