The Coronavirus, which for almost two years has been a virus of the cities and big towns, has begun spreading to smaller towns and is very likely to reach villages that, know nothing about the virus and how it can be prevented.
The virus, which is suspected of having killed many people in Cameroon’s major cities, has now found a new place in Mamfe where some ten people have been diagnosed with COVID-19-related health complications, with two actually dying.
For the past eighteen months, the people of Mamfe have been going about their business as if they are beyond the virus’ reach, but this indifference has simply varnished following the announcement of the virus’ presence in a town where people love shaking hands and do live a social life that many consider as dangerous.
The country’s military is highly suspected of bringing this virus to the shores of Mamfe as most of the soldiers posted to Mamfe are from Yaoundé and Douala where the virus has been decimating the population segment that is either too vulnerable due to age or co-morbidities.
The Cameroon Concord News Group’s correspondent in Mamfe has been talking to many people on the streets of Mamfe and most of them are really scared, with the majority assuming that the military is to blame for the importation of this virus into a town that has been COVID-19-free.
“We suspect that the military is responsible for this unfortunate situation. This virus has been an issue of the big cities, how did it get here? We are really scared, epecially as the Mamfe General Hospital lacks the proper medical capacity to deal with a virus that spreads like wildfire,” a resident of Mamfe said.
“We have not been wearing mask here and I doubt if many people will be adopting a new lifestyle which includes wearing masks and avoiding people. If this virus really decides to take up residence here, then we have a huge crisis on our hands,” the desperate Mamfe resident said.
He added that “with the socio-political chaos playing out here in most of Manyu Division, we do not know where we can go to stay out of this virus’ path. Many people are scared. Who will help us? Neither Amba fighters nor the government can help us in this regard. The government is ill-equipped to deal with this ugly situation and Amba fighters cannot use their guns to kill this insidious virus. We just have to continue praying, but I know that prayers alone will not roll back the virus from our Division,” the Mamfe resident said.
Meanwhile, many residents of the city informed the Cameroon Concord News Group’s correspondent in Mamfe that Doctors Without Borders have been in Mamfe for close to one gear where they set up an isolation center which closed sometime in August and once the health organization shut down this facility and left because there were no COVID-19 cases, the virus showed up, coming in through the back door.
However, residents of the town have confirmed that Doctors Without Borders are back and their presence in the town is reassuring.
By Julius Agbor Bate in Mamfe