Cameroon on alert after detection of Alpha, Beta, Delta strains of COVID-19

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A voter gets her temperature checked in Yaounde, Cameroon, Dec. 6, 2020. Cameroon's first ever regional elections polling ended on Sunday evening despite interruptions by armed separatists in the country's English-speaking regions. (Photo by Jean Pierre Kepseu/Xinhua)
A voter gets her temperature checked in Yaounde, Cameroon, Dec. 6, 2020. Cameroon’s first ever regional elections polling ended on Sunday evening despite interruptions by armed separatists in the country’s English-speaking regions. (Photo by Jean Pierre Kepseu/Xinhua)

Cameroon’s Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute announced Thursday the intensification of vaccinations and strengthening of the response at the territorial borders during an evaluation meeting in the capital, Yaounde.

“The Minister of Public Health indicated the genomic surveillance put in place has detected that out of 745 samples of positive cases analyzed, 43 English Alpha variant cases, 17 South African Beta variant cases and 14 Indian Delta variant cases are circulating in our country,” according to Health Minister Manaouda Malachie, as quoted on national television following a meeting on the national response strategy.

Cameroonian authorities have decided to strengthen the country’s fight against the pandemic as well as vigilance at the borders and intensification of vaccinations.

According to figures Ngute presented, out of more than 25 million inhabitants, Cameroon has recorded 82,512 COVID-19 cases since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Of these cases, 80,929 have been cured, representing a 98.1% cure rate. In the last two months, Cameroon has gone from 1,310 deaths to 1,341 deaths, an additional 31 deaths,” the same source said.

The Delta variant “could be 60% more contagious than the other variants. Greater contagiousness means more cases, more hospitalizations, and a greater risk of overwhelming health systems. Some evidence also suggests that the Delta variant is linked to more severe and longer-lasting cases,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO noted the third wave of COVID-19 on the African continent, while the Cameroonian Health Ministry is banking on vaccination as a “shield” against the wave.​​​​​​​

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