Mar 2020

My Dear Compatriots,

The Government has finally acknowledged the seriousness of the situation in the Covid-19 epidemic. While several Western and African countries were on the verge of a war against coronavirus, the Cameroonian Government claimed, just a few days ago, that they were ready to face this epidemic and was even prepared to receive thousands of people from countries more infected than Cameroon.

The measures announced on March 17th by the Government clearly show that the regime has returned from its illusions, from its continued denial, in the face of the problems facing our country; it is now to be hoped that it takes the real picture of the situation.


These are not alarmist remarks, but an alert based on the obligation to tell the truth and raise awareness, an obligation that my status as a citizen and public official imposes on me, having at heart the fate of my compatriots and the destiny of the Nation.

I immediately welcome the measures taken on March 17th, because they are likely to preserve the health of Cameroonians in the face of this fearsome epidemic. I will remain optimistic as long as I have confidence that the measures announced are effective and are being carried out with full responsibility. As everyone knows, I strongly value the life of Cameroonians. Thus, I will rigorously assess the implementation of the announced measures and their relevance.

Therefore, I will immediately note some shortcomings in the measures taken to date:

Hotels requisitioned to receive suspected cases have not been prepared in advance, whereas in principle, such an operation requires both psychological and practical preparation of hotel staff, precise identification of the health corridors within the hotel and deployment of aseptic measures before, during and after the epidemic. If such measures are not taken beforehand, spread of the virus beyond the required spaces is likely and would be a factor in the contamination of a large number of people. More developed countries than Cameroon devoted two weeks to this preparation; in Cameroon, the regime wants us to believe that this operation is not essential.

The non-preparation of Treatment Centres for people infected by the coronavirus as denounced by the CRM in its press release of last March 4th. Everyone has noticed that it was only on March 17th, the day of the announcement of the major distancing and containment measures, that the Minister of Health asked the regional delegates of his Ministry to suggest some health facilities that can serve as Treatment Centres.

Non-compliance with containment measures by certain people, including public officials. This is particularly the case of Mr Cavaye Yéguié Djibril, who, returning from France, a country where the rate of spread of the coronavirus has picked up to the point of causing it to declare a health war against this epidemic, evaded these preventive measures, disregarding the health of other Cameroonians.

My Dear Compatriots,

These non-exhaustive remarks significantly temper the optimism displayed above. There is therefore room for doubt. The government’s flip-flop on certain measures, just 24 hours after their announcement, contributes to installing this doubt.

This being so, beyond the Government’s mistakes, the gravity of the situation requires everyone to contribute to the successful management of the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic.

By virtue of its scale and its foreseeable consequences, this viral epidemic, which is a serious public health problem, constitutes a real national threat. This will only be combatted by collective public action involving all the actors concerned.

With this in mind, I request that the following system be implemented without delay:

The creation of quarantine camps dedicated to monitoring suspected or confirmed people infected with Covid-19. These could be hospitals or requisitioned classrooms, exclusively devoted to monitoring cases of this epidemic, and placed under the surveillance of the police. As such, a requisition of 2nd category forces may prove necessary, depending on the development of the situation, to ensure strict compliance with security rules and the surveillance of quarantine camps.

Free and systematic testing for all suspected cases, as well as simplifying their acquisition procedures and fair distribution of tests according to actual demand. It is unacceptable that long bureaucratic procedures are required to be able to carry out an emergency diagnostic test. Health facility managers or, failing that, managers of quarantine centres must be responsible for authorising the use of diagnostic tests.

• Free medical and psychological care for confirmed cases.

The creation of a National Commission in charge of the management of the Covid-19 epidemic and the protection of Cameroonians against this disease. This Commission must be chaired by the President of the Republic and not by a third party. Given the gravity of the situation, everyone must take responsibility and no longer delegate it as usual.

This Commission should be subdivided into several Sub-Commissions including:

o A Health Sub-Commission composed of experts in clinical health, public health and professionals in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry. It should define the management protocols in quarantine centres; it should also design the content and media for messages to be disseminated to the general public. This Sub-Commission should also draw up the protocol for the supply, storage and distribution of the inputs and materials used in the care of infected persons.

o A Para-Health Sub-Commission responsible for the definition and implementation of measures complementary to health measures (non-health measures).

o A Safety Sub-Commission whose intelligence and security actions should be part of the objective of eradicating Covid-19 in Cameroon. This Sub-Commission should therefore ensure, among other things, the implementation of binding measures taken at the borders and within the national territory.

Furthermore, I demand that the actual figures for those already infected be published. Reliable reports point to a much larger number of Cameroonians already infected. I also request that measures be taken to support economic operators as well as households whose activities will be affected by the measures taken by the Government. The protection of people and property is a sovereign task of the State. I will be particularly attentive to these support measures.

Dear Compatriots,

The CRM is ready to contribute to the implementation of an appropriate national response to the ongoing Covid-19 epidemic.

I invite Cameroonians to be very respectful of the hygiene measures made public by the World Health Organisation in order to protect themselves on the one hand, and to protect those around them on the other. To those already infected with Covid-19, I wish a good and speedy recovery, while I extend my sincere encouragement and gratitude to the health personnel for their current and future efforts.

We are a Great Nation! despite all those who humiliate it with governance of another age and want to crumble it with inflamed hatred. With the efforts of each and every one, we will be able to get through this ordeal and be even stronger to meet our destiny, from which this adversity cannot turn us away. Let us be united and protect each other.

Long live Cameroon!

Yaoundé, March 19th, 2020

The CRM National President,
President-elect Maurice KAMTO