Cameroon: COVID-19 Is Back – Public Health Experts Warn
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The recent weekly report on COVID-19 in the country spanning August 4-10, 2022 published by the Emergency Operations Centre indicates a grim trend in COVID-19 cases. Public Health experts are thus warning of a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic which has bent the curve recorded in recent months.
Confirmed cases in Cameroon now stand at 121 652 — 1,101 of their active cases. At least 1,935 people are known to have died from the virus against 118, 616 recoveries, giving a recovery rate of 97.5 per cent. About 11.2 per cent of the country’s target population have so far received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“We have been having a quiet time dealing with a small number of cases, but in August alone, over 1,000 persons have tested positive for COVID-19, alongside 9 deaths,” Prof. Yap Boum, an official of the Emergency Operations Centre told CRTVWeb. “It’s critical for our community to know that COVID-19 is back… Vulnerable persons are at risk of catching the disease, and should get vaccinated in any vaccination centre” he said.
The Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie has called for vigilance as many in Cameroon have almost relegated the COVID-19 barrier measures. And as the new academic year begins across the country, the message remains as always for the barrier measures to be respected.
Cameroon in June reached a major milestone as the country recorded no new cases for at least a week. Manaouda Malachie said in June that for the past one week, the country has recorded no new cases of the dreaded COVID-19 virus, a signal that the country may be succeeding in its fight to eradicate the health pandemic from its territory.
The Heath boss in a tweet this April cautioned Cameroonians not to relent in adhering to the barrier measures taken by the government in the fight against the pandemic.
“For the first time since March 5, 2020, our country has just gone a week without a single Covid patient in our hospitals. Congratulations to the health soldiers,” Minister Manaouda Malachie tweeted. “But the fight continues because Covid-19 is not over yet. Let us redouble our vigilance and get ourselves vaccinated.”
“Cheers to our valiant vaccinators who have been leading an intensive campaign against Covid-19 since March 16, 2022. Vaccination remains the only way to protect ourselves and reduce the effects of the virus on our health system. Let’s go to vaccination,” Minister Malachie added.
Despite this trend in the positive cases of the virus, health officials continue to call on inhabitants across the country to continue respecting the barrier measures that were put in place; frequent hand washing, wearing of face masks and using hand sanitisers and avoiding crowded places, all measures that have and continue to fall on deaf ears.
By late 2021 and the beginning of 2022, the number of people respecting these barrier measures could be counted in the entire country. Many feel the virus has been completely eradicated or have become immune to it. Most will be found wearing face masks when there is a public official visiting and when he or she goes back, they revert to their usual ways of not wearing them.