YAOUNDE, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Cameroonian President Paul Biya on Tuesday evening expressed gratitude to Jack Ma and the Alibaba Foundation and other partners for their support in the fight against COVID-19.
"We have also had the pleasure of receiving assistance and encouragement from friendly countries, international organizations, national and foreign business leaders, as well as various personalities such as Mr Jack Ma of the Alibaba Foundation. I wish to thank them here and now on your behalf," Biya said in a televised address to the nation on the eve of the National Day.
The coronavirus pandemic will have a negative impact on the economy, Biya said in his first address to the nation since the pandemic hit Cameroon in March.
"Of course, we will have to return subsequently to the path of growth, while ensuring that jobs are preserved as much as possible during this period of uncertainty and difficulty," he said and stressed that the government needed to be "resourceful and inventive" to face the economic challenges.
He said despite the increase in the number of people tested positive for the coronavirus in the country, the situation can be brought under control.
"We will therefore spare no effort to check the spread of the virus and reduce the mortality rate resulting from the pandemic," he added.
Cameroon detected its first coronavirus infection on March 6, an imported case from Europe, and has reported to date more than 3,500 cases, according to health authorities.
The government has closed national borders and applied social distancing since March 18. Public celebrations for the national day were also cancelled. Enditem