On March 15 the Cameroon government introduced some anti-coronavirus measures to contain the spread of the virus, days after the country reported its first case.
The decision included the closure of Cameroon’s air, land and sea borders and all educational facilities, prohibition of gatherings of more than 50 people, and a 6 PM curfew on entertainment and leisure facilities such as bars and restaurants among others.
These measures have been renewed twice.
With over 1,800 coronavirus cases, President Biya Thursday ordered the easing of restrictions in Cameroon.
PM Dion Ngute disclosed Thursday that bars, restaurants and other leisure facilities can stay open after 6pm with the obligation for customers and users to respect barrier measures.
Among some nineteen new measures taken by the Head of State and announced by the Prime Minister Head of Government, Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute this Thursday April 30, transporters have equally been given the go ahead to function as before.
According to PM Ngute, the aim is to limit the impact of the health crisis on the country’s economy and as well relieve some of the sectors hit hard by the pandemic.
The move has been widely criticized by opinion leaders and members of the opposition.
Opposition leaders have repeatedly criticised the government for its management of the COVID-19 health crisis, with the latest rebuke regarding the lifting of the 6 PM curfew on bars and restaurants while schools and places of worship remain closed.
The president of the Popular Action Party, Njang Denis has questioned why 1st and 20th May celebrations were cancelled but bars and restaurants can now satay open after 6 PM.
Njang Denis equally questions why churches, mosques and schools remain close while people are allowed to sit and consume alcohol in bars after 6 PM.
“Were they forced to implement some measures against the COVID-19 because most countries in Europe, America and Africa did? What are the justifications for the sudden uplifting of measures against COVID19 in some sectors?“ he asked.
Barrister Akere Muna reacting to the lifting of the 6pm curfew on businesses in Cameroon tweeted “economic pressures due to #COVID19 & the impact on livelihoods and the economic health of our nation are very real, but we must remember that an economy, unlike a life, can always be rebuilt.”