More than two months after suspension of classes due to the coronavirus in Cameroon, primary and secondary school students returned to school on Monday.
The government is facing criticism for weak measures to combat spread of the virus in one of the most affected countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
With masks on, students returned to school in the capital Yaoundé. Sanitary kits have been made available.
“So, this morning at the entrance, we gave masks to all the students, each teacher will also receive a mask. We also have alcohol-based gels”, said Seyapdje Maurice, Deputy Headmaster of Deido High school.
For some parents, the reopening of schools was far too quick, considering the scale of the outbreak. A view shared by Douala mayor, Roger Mbassa Ndine.
“It is against the law to willfully contaminate others. And yet that is what is being done. Some people deliberately contaminate others, and when children have to go back to school, it is extremely important that parents and communities be made aware,” he said.
For Yaoundé resident Claude Yefouet “It’s a little disturbing, seeing the evolution of this pandemic, it would be better to take a little time to let students resume classes.”
Coronavirus cases are still on the rise in Cameroon, with more than 6,100 infections and 197 fatalities. Government action taken almost two weeks after the first case was detected on March 5 was considered late compared to many other African countries.
Bars, nightclubs and restaurants were allowed to reopen at night at the end of April.