The Cameroonian mining industry is one of the sectors most affected by the spread of Covid-19, according to a report by the country’s National Institute for Statistics (INS), with 76% of mining companies reporting staff cuts amid the pandemic.

The report, which surveyed small and medium businesses between 27 April and 10 May, is discouraging reading for a number of sectors. The staff cuts figure for mining is significantly higher than the average percentage of small and medium enterprises affected, with 59% of all companies of this size cutting jobs, across all sectors. The INS report noted that 62% of all companies have had to cut working hours, and 57% have postponed planned investments, both operations that are critical to the mining industry.

Cameroon has reported over 8,600 cases of Covid-19, the 61st-most in the world, but has reported relatively few deaths. Out of a population of 26.5 million people, there have only been 212 deaths reported, an average of eight deaths per million people.