The 48th edition of the National Holiday of May 20 is canceled due to the risks linked to the coronavirus epidemic (Covid-19), the Secretary-General of the Presidency of the Republic (SGPR), Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh announced. The same applies to Labor Day on May 1, 2020.
“Because of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to respect the measures prescribed by the government of the Republic, the President of the Republic (...) Paul Biya has decided to cancel the public celebrations of the 2020 editions of Labor Day and National Day,” the SGPR said in a statement issued on April 22, 2020.
This year’s topic is “All united in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, for a resilient Cameroon resolutely turned towards peace, stability, and economic development.” This is, according to the minister of defense Joseph Beti Assomo, a way to unite the people, in a context of health and economic crisis caused by the new coronavirus.
Called “Unity Day,” Cameroon commemorates every year on this date, the advent of the unitary state with the creation of the United Republic of Cameroon, following a referendum ending the federal system on 20 May 1972.
This year will, therefore, be a special one, since the traditional military and civil parade at 20 May Boulevard in Yaoundé, as well as the reception offered by the presidential couple at the Palace of Unity will not take place. This is the second time the event is canceled, the first time being in 1984 after the failed coup d'état in April.
Cameroon officially has 1,400 cases of Covid-19 infections, 668 people recovered while 48 others died as of 22 April 2020. The government, on 16 April, has extended for 15 extra days the 20 measures enacted to curb the spread of the virus.