Cameroon arrests prostitutes offering sex at virus isolation centres

Saturday March 28 2020

Cameroon police officials walk with riot shields on a street in the administrative quarter of Buea some 60kms west of Douala on October 1, 2017. Police arrested prostitutes in Yaounde on March 27, 2020 for offering their services to people in coronavirus isolation centres. PHOTO | STR | AFP



Authorities in Cameroon's capital, Yaounde, have arrested prostitutes who have been visiting coronavirus isolation centres in some hotels and offering their services.

The prostitutes, who earn at east $30 a night, have been approaching travellers from Europe despite the risk of contracting the disease and spreading it.

Mr Jean Claude Tsila, the capital's administrative officer, reported the arrests to state broadcaster Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) on Friday.

Mr Tsila did not give the number of those arrested but reliable sources close to his office said they were at least 50.

“We were reliably informed that some persons confined to some hotels in Yaounde due to the coronavirus pandemic were receiving prostitutes inside their rooms,” the administrative officer said.


He described the “smuggling of prostitutes” into hotel rooms as a “legendary act of indiscipline”.


Mr Tsila has reinforced security around the Yaounde hotels hosting persons suspected to be infected.

He has also given firm instructions for the arrest of prostitutes parading Yaounde streets famous for the trade.

Those arrested will be charged with spreading the deadly disease, a crime punishable by a prison term of up to three years and a fine.


In response to the administrative officer’s decision, some prostitutes who did not want to be named spoke of a nosedive in their business.

With the hunger and poverty in the country, many wonder how they will put food on the table and pay for roofs over their heads.

Coronavirus cases in the central African country reached 94 after two new cases were confirmed in the capital on Saturday morning.

Public Health Minister, Dr Manaouda Malachie, said the two new patients were among 32 people tested in different towns.

Cameroon earlier had 92 cases including two deaths and two recoveries announced 24 hours earlier.