By Eric Tataw – Washington DC, USA, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
At least a staff in one of the branches of the South African multinational mobile telecommunications company has died of COVID-19, National Telegraph can confirm.
MTN Group Limited, formerly M-Cell, is a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African, European and Asian countries. Its head office is in Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city and capital of Gauteng province.
Divine Ajone Nyamka, one of the staff who died was working in one of the MTN offices in Douala, an economic fulcrum and capital of Cameroon’s Littoral Region in Central Africa.
Ajone worked at the Bonaberi branch of the telecommunications giant and died on Monday, March 30, 2020, while on a ventilator at the Douala Regional Hospital, sources say.
Not much has been disclosed about his preconditions but sources confirmed he was hurriedly buried the same day in seclusion for fear of exposing others to any risk of contamination.
Many Cameroonians have already died of COVID-19 in the country though unreported by the Health Ministry, including the case of Cameroon football legend, Patrick Mboma’s uncle. Mboma announced on a March 23, 2020, Twitter post that he lost his uncle to COVID-19.
Achille Essome was supposed to be Cameroon’s first official COVID-19 death but the Health Ministry downplayed it despite Essome’s children confirming on social media that COVID-19 killed their father.
Ajone’s case adds to the many COVID-19 deaths in Cameroon that have gone unannounced. Many health workers have hinted National Telegraph that they’re under firm instructions from country authorities not to disclose any COVID-19-related information.
MTN Cameroon is yet to make any official statement on Ajone’s death and there are fears he must have contaminated some of his colleagues and many customers. The Health Ministry is also maintaining silence over the incident.
COVID-19 is now affecting 203 countries and territories with total confirmed cases at 859,338 and 42,334 deaths. Cameroon has officially announced 223 confirmed cases, according to a tweet from its Health Minister, Dr. Manaouda Malachie, late Tuesday, March 31, 2020.