Cameroon on Tuesday confirmed the first death in the country due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) as more new cases of the pandemic were also reported.
The Minister for Public Health Manaouda Malachie said the victim is a Cameroonian who returned from Italy on March 7 “already very affected by the disease”.
There were no further details, including name, age and sex of the patient.
The government said there were 66 confirmed cases of the Covid-19 pandemic in the central African country by Tuesday, an increase from 56 the previous day.
The country’s Prime Minister, Dr Joseph Dion Ngute, who chaired an inter-ministerial evaluation meeting of the measures prescribed by President Paul Biya to prevent importation and spread of the virus, blamed the growing number of cases on failure to respect of some of the rules.
“Certain restrictive measures prescribed by the Head of State on March 17 with the aim of stemming the spread of this virus in country are unfortunately not respected by many of our compatriots,” the PM regretted.
The 13 measures announced last week include the prohibition of all public gatherings of more than 50 people, systematic closing of bars, restaurants and leisure spots from 6pm, the ban on overloading in buses, taxis and motorbikes, urban and inter-urban travel restrictions, the regulation of consumer flows in markets and shopping centres and the social distancing prescribed by the World Health Organisation.
Dr Ngute said those who refuse to comply with the restrictive measures endanger not only their lives but the lives of others and the entire nation.
He said the measures will now be applied with utmost rigor and offenders will face the law. He said administrative and municipal authorities as well the police have been empowered to take all the necessary measures to ensure everyone obeys the prescribed rules at all times.