Public Health Minister Dr. Manouda Malachie, has cautioned the Cameroonian population to take the omicron variant of the coronavirus seriously, despite the fact that it has not yet been detected in Cameroon.
He gave some preventive measures and guidelines to be implemented within the country, in a communique released on Monday, 29 November.
An excerpt of the communique reads:
“People who traveled to Southern Africa within the last 14 days and having a positive test result, with a negative screening for the mutations found in the other variants of concern (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) may be considered as possible cases of contamination with the omicron variant.
“The Sequencing of samples for this variant in our country, is being organized in order to have a diagnosis as soon as possible. In addition, even before the sequencing results are obtained, reinforced measures to identify and isolate possible cases and their risk contacts have been given to the technical services concerned.
“In accordance with the directives of the Head of State relating the spread of this SARS-Cov-2 variant in our country, surveillance and screening measures at the borders, have been strengthened to identify contaminated cases as early as possible and to quarantine all contact persons.
“The Minister of Public Health recalls the measures prescribed at our borders namely: any person landing in our country, must not only provide a negative PCR test result dating less than 48 hours, but also undergo a rapid screening.
“To this end, he reminds the entire population of the importance of and compliance with the barriers put in place by the government as well as the need to seek care in the event of symptoms suggestive of COVID-19.
“Finally, while counting on the sense of citizenship of all the population. The Minister of Public Health firmly insists that vaccination remains the most suitable means of blocking the way to this pandemic”.
Omicron was identified in South Africa, on 25 November 2021. According to the World Health Organization, it is one of the many mutations of the virus responsible for the current pandemic.