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Cameroon: COVID 19 Emergency Situation Report No. 02 - As of 1st June 2020

Country: Cameroon Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs This report is produced by OCHA Cameroon in collaboration with COVID 19 Task force. It is issued on 05 June and covered the period from 20 May to 1 June 2020. The next report will be issued on or around the 24 June 2020. HIGHLIGHTS As of 1st June 20, 6,752 cases1 have been tested positive with COVID-19 in Cameroon, including 199 deaths The number of cases of infection is increasing in regions already affected by humanitarian crisis. High risk re-opening of schools from June 1st Despite the support of WHO and other partners, the response to COVID 19 is stalling The COVID-19 outbreak causes dramatic socio-economic impacts for the most vulnerable households. SITUATION OVERVIEW The COVID-19 pandemic continues to worsen around the world and furthermore in Cameroon. As testing capacity increases and isolation and treatment facilities gradually expands in country, the number of positive cases has doubled since May 17 reaching 6,752 on June 1st. While the increased testing capacity has resulted in a lower fatality rate, the number of deaths reaches 199, within each of the ten regions. The Government s decision on 30 April to lift several key preventive measures has increased the risk of propagation of the virus whilst sending a confusing message to the population. Meanwhile, the courageous decision to reopen schools by June 1st raises various practical challenges and faces both parents and teachers reluctance as they fear being infected with COVID. Even though the implementation of the Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) strategy throughout the country progressively results in greater awareness amongst urban and rural communities, community resistance remains the main impediments to slow down the spread of the epidemic. Although now compulsory, the wearing of mask or respect of social distances are hardly complied to both in rural and furthermore in urban areas. Discrimination and stigmatization are rampant when COVID is named. Meanwhile, the lift of major restrictive measures have given ground to all kind of fake news, spurious information and rumors which ultimately further exacerbate the risk of rapid spread of the virus. In this context, the UN agencies and NGO operating in country are redoubling efforts to support each of the four pillars of the national strategy through multi-faceted initiatives including provision of essential supplies, logistic and transport, human resources expertise or prevention activities to name a few. As the decentralization process of the national response is going on the operational capacity of UN and NGO in crisis-affected regions is critical to marshal a more robust response to the outbreak. In April- May, an analysis of the socio-economic impacts of the epidemic has been carried out under UNDP leadership of. According to the results of the analysis, overall, 82.6% of business leaders reported experiencing a drop-in production. However, this situation is more pronounced in formal sector enterprises than in the informal sector. In terms of impact, almost half of the negatively affected companies say they have recorded a drop of more than 50% in their production. Regarding the impact of this pandemic on households, findings of the analysis highlight that 62.7% of the household are experiencing a deterioration in their standard of living. Although most of the individuals surveyed have not lost their jobs, i many are experiencing critical slowdown of their activity (74%) and a dramatic drop of their incomes (65%). In terms of logistics, WFP global aviation air service has received authorizations from the Cameroon Civil Aviation Authority (CCAA) to operate passenger flights to and from countries in East and West Africa, particularly Ghana where operational hub is now running. However, WFP is bound to special administrative procedures including three-day notice, and Government s clearance for each flight, which undermines flight reliability. In support of national and regional health authorities, UNICEF has developed a new Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) strategy to mitigate the negative impacts of the relaxation of containment measures. UN Women Cameroon is mobilized and committed to support the Government to strengthen women s economic resilience to COVID 19. This includes prioritizing support to women at the front line of interventions, providing know-how for the manufacture of hygiene products such as masks and antiseptic soap.

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