Covid-19: Bamenda residents abandon Covid-19 preventive measures
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Despite warnings from the minister of public health Manaouda Malachie on the increase of Covid19 cases in Cameroon, there is little or no follow up of the preventive measures in most public spaces in the North west region. Many citizens have abandoned the preventive measures with the notion that the virus no longer exist.

At the Bamenda main market, 22 hand wash points are barely used by traders and buyers. According to Sirri Hilda, a trader, most salon owners rather carry water from the water tanks offered to the main market by Les Brasseries du Cameroun in their salons. Others use it for different purposes.

At the Nkwen market, the 3-hand wash points available are often used only by buyers and not the traders. Mukong Ngu George, the market master, says there is some degree of laxity among the traders and the city in general.

People are stubborn when it comes to these Covid-19 preventive measures. They only want to succumb to instructions after forceful measures have been implemented. This attitude is dangerous to public health because you find people in the market with dirty hands and face mask. People need to stop relying on the government and start taking care of themselves”.

Away from the markets, most banks and money transaction agencies have abandoned the aspect of hand washing to the use of hand sanitizers. Others like UBA and Aziccul Ntarikon focus only on the wearing of face mask.

Most Money gram and Express union agencies in Bamenda have totally abandoned the implementation of the Covid19 preventive measures at their door steps. Customers can be seen moving in and out without washing their hands or putting on a face mask.

Majority of bars and restaurants have abandoned the use of hand wash points and no one cares if the customer washed his or her hands before entering the premises or if they have their face mask on. There is no trace of hand sanitizers for customers to use in case there is no hand wash point.

Hand washing and face mask seems to be a thing of the past in Bamenda. A notion the mayor of Bamenda II council Peter Chenwi, is trying wipe out by creating a follow up committee to make sure the hand wash points within its municipality are operational.

At the advent of Covid19 in the region, we gave out some taps buckets, savon, sanitizers to inhabitants of within our municipality and to had to create a follow up committee. Three months after distribution, they went out to the various public points and discovered broken buckets which were replaced together with sanitizers and savons”. Said Peter Chenwi

As of January 2021, the North West Region (NWR) is presently the fifth most affected region in Cameroon, with 998 positive COVID-19 cases. The case facility rate is 7 .51%. 18119 (94.73o/o) health districts (llD) affected (except Njikwa).  24 active cases in six health districts.

Work carried out as part of the « Data and Check Covid-19 » project with the support of AFD, Expertise France and CFI as part of PAGO

Maikem Emmanuela Manzie

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