By Dilian Welleng in Yaounde –
The President of the Republic, Paul Biya, has ordered the Ministry of Finance to disburse the sum of 50 million FCFA to aid Cameroonians living in the crisis-hit Wuhan-China.
The order is contained in a release signed Thursday, February 20, 2020 by the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of External relations in Charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth, Felix Mbayu.
Thursday’s release states that, “the Head of State has instructed the Minister of Finance to urgently make available the sum of fifty million FCFA to enable the Cameroonian Embassy in Beijing to provide assistance to Cameroonian citizens”.
Going by the release, the gesture is President Biya’s preliminary measure to help Cameroonians living in the Chinese province of Hubei and the quarantined city of Wuhan.
The release went on to state that the Cameroon government is monitoring the evolution of the virus alongside Chinese authorities.
“The Government of the Republic of Cameroon continues to closely monitor the evolution of this epidemic in conjunction with Chinese authorities. It won’t fail to inform the national opinion of any subsequent initiative to bring comfort to our compatriots,” said Minister Felix Mbayu.
President Biya’s aid, it should be said, comes close to a month after some distressed Cameroonians residing in China, precisely in the quarantined city of Wuhan wrote to President Paul Biya, begging him for assistance in the face of a disease that continues to make victims.
It is worth mentioning that a census conducted by the Cameroonian Embassy in Beijing reportedly revealed that close to three hundred Cameroonians are living in the Chinese province of Hubei and about two hundred are in Wuhan.
According to the same census, to date, these Cameroonian citizens are all in good health.
It should be recalled that the outbreak which began in December has already killed more than 2,200 people and infected more than 75,500 in China.
More than 1,150 people have also been infected outside China, although Egypt is the only African country to have recorded a confirmed case.
The World Health Organisation, WHO recently sent out a warning indicating that Africa does not have adequate health facilities to handle cases of the deadly coronavirus. The alert was raised by WHO director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a meeting of African health ministers at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa.