On June 11, the WHO stated that a ‘steady increase’ in COVID-19 cases in Africa should be expected until a vaccine is developed. The organization identified Cameroon, together with South Africa and Algeria, as one of the continent’s hotspots that require strong public health measures in the near future.
The announcement comes after the authorities in Cameroon further eased restrictions in place to limit the spread of the virus in the beginning of June. From June 1 onwards, schools and universities, which had been closed since March 17, have been permitted to reopen nationwide. Bars and restaurants had already been allowed to reopen in early May.
Although the country’s testing capacity remains unclear, active cases have been on the rise since May 29. The relaxation of measures is likely to facilitate the spread of the virus further, potentially even to bordering countries such as Niger and Tsjaad. These countries are already stressed under other pressing problems such as internally displaced persons and a severe lack of food. Looking at the capacity of Cameroon’s healthcare system, the country’s population of 26,5 million might face severe challenges in the foreseeable future.