World, Africa, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Cameroon to open schools on June 1, eases lockdown

Prime minister says it will be conducted in strict respect of safety measures put in place

Felix Tih   | 30.05.2020
Cameroon to open schools on June 1, eases lockdown

ANKARA 

Cameroon authorities have further eased coronavirus lockdown restrictions by opening schools and other training centers suspended since March 17 to curb the spread of the virus, the country's prime minister has said.

''The resumption of classes, in all levels of education, as well as in professional schools and vocational training centers, will effectively take place on Monday, 1 June 2020, throughout the national territory,'' Joseph Dion Ngute said late Friday.

He said the decision was made after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday dedicated to the review of the government's strategy against COVID-19.

Dion Ngute also said nursery schools and intermediate classes in primary and secondary schools are not concerned by the resumption of classes on June 1.

He also called on all ministers in charge of education to maintain dialogue with the entire educational community, parent-teachers' associations, and the Teacher's Union, for the success of the activities being undertaken.

The Central African country has so far confirmed 5,436 coronavirus cases, with 175, and 1,996 recoveries, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Several African countries have decided to ease lockdown restrictions by June 1, and open schools and places of warship.

But the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for caution as countries in Africa ease lockdowns.

''We must all remain vigilant. As more countries begin to ease confinement measures, it is vital that effective testing and surveillance systems are in place to detect any spike in cases,'' Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, said at a press briefing on Thursday.

''Ending a lockdown is not an event, but a process, and it’s important to have a clear view of local conditions so informed decisions can be made about how to relax these measures.''

The pandemic has claimed nearly 365,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China last December. The US and Europe are currently the world’s worst-hit regions.

More than 5.93 million cases have been reported worldwide, while over 2.49 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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