Coronavirus related cases are on the rise around the globe, with Italy being the epicenter of the deadly virus. Protective measures are being taken by various governments all over the world to curb its spread. Despite these measures put in place, the deadly virus is spreading in leaps and bounce, putting humanity in a tight position like never before.
Global Trend of the Virus
-According to CNN a record of 300,000 cases are being recorded all over the globe.
-Italy recorded 793 deaths in a day, (Saturday March 21,2020), the worst recorded in a day since the outbreak of the virus. 4,825 people have now died in Italy, surpassing the number of deaths in China where the pandemic started.
-US COVID-19 death toll stands at around 339 people according to BBC, indicating a rise in the death toll in this country.
-India is imposing a 1-day lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.
-Senegal has equally closed down its land, sea and air borders to contain the spread of the Virus. Tourist visiting the country has also been repatriated to their various countries as part of the measures to curb the spread of the virus.
-Global Coronavirus related deaths stand at around 12,944 according to John Hopkins University.
What is the situation in Cameroon?
Cameroon has so far confirmed 27 cases of Coronavirus. No death has been recorded so far but there are fears the virus could spread across the country. It is against this backdrop that the government of Cameroon put in place measures to contain the the COVID 19 pandemic. These measures include, the closing of land, sea and air borders, schools suspended, the gathering of more than 50 people forbidden, bars to close as from 6 pm amongst others.
The archBishop of Douala, Samuel Kleda announced the suspension of activities of the catholic church including Sunday mass. In Buea, the headquarters of ERuDeF, the Divisional officer, in a release cautioned churches not to open their doors for Sunday service. People coming into the chief town of the Northwest region of Cameroon, Bamenda as of now, are being screened to make sure that they are free from this deadly virus.
There was outrage in Cameroon when the speaker of the National Assembly, Honorable Cavaye Yeguie Djibril flew in from France to Cameroon, (one of the Covid 19 hot spots in Europe) without being quarantined as others. Irrespective of this Cameroon seems to be in control of the situation, though there are still flaws in the measures put in place by the government. Bars are still opened after 6 pm, there is still close contact of persons especially in township taxis, markets are still a potential breeding ground, though it would have been very hash a decision if market places were to be closed down by the government.
WHO boss, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned that cases of coronavirus may be underreported in Africa, with Cameroon not being an exception. The number of COVID 19 cases Cameroon are conflicting as some put the number at 40 while the government talks of 27.
How is ERuDeF responding to this health emergency?
In every polity, decisions are taken at a macro-level and implemented at a micro-level. The Environment and Rural Development Foundation being one of the micro institutions in the polity has put in place various measures to keep its workers safe and by extension curbing the spread of the indiscriminate killer virus. These measures include the banning of visitors from the premises of ERuDeF during working hours, suspension of Saturday general sport, (Sport for Conservation) and stringent sanitation measures put in place.
To say the virus hasn’t negative effects on the day to day running of activities of the organization would be an understatement. ERuDeF, is worried, given that the planting season is fast approaching. Tree planting in one of its project sites (The Mount Bamboutos Initiative) in the West region of Cameroon has to commence by April. Given that this tree planting effort to restore the degraded ecosystem of the Mount Bamboutos is community based, there are fears that this activity may be hindered if the Virus continue to spread in Cameroon. Several planned visits of ERuDeF overseas partners have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
There is hope for humanity
Though there is a rise in the cases of Coronavirus around the globe, there is hope for the human race. This anchors to the fact that the number of cases in China where the virus originated has been dropping drastically in the past days. The Environment and Rural Development Foundation urges all to be self-disciplined and abide to all the local measures put in place to curb the spread of the Virus.