A vast mobile coronavirus screening campaign was launched on July 28, 2020, in Yaoundé (where the virus has claimed more than 300 lives).
According to Dr. Linda Esso, the Sub-director for the fight against epidemics and pandemics at the Ministry of Public Health, this is aimed at quickly diagnosing the cases to break the transmission chain at a time when the country has already passed the cap of 17,000 confirmed cases.
For one month, mobile screening teams will scour places around the country -like markets, bus stations, universities, and companies- where many people usually gather. Dr. Linda Esso informs that this mobile screening campaign is part of the government's 3T strategy: track, test, treat. "This new strategy aims to get as close as possible to the population, actively search for cases and manage positive cases at an early stage to considerably reduce the risk of community contamination while guaranteeing an optimal rate of recovery for patients," she says. Health authorities, therefore, invite people to get tested during the campaign or at approved sites to prevent a further increase in cases.
Before screening the population, the dispatched teams will first educate them about the symptoms of the disease and how to prevent it. Then, they ask a set of questions to assess their understandings. The objective of this approach is to establish long-term individual and collective protection habits against the spread of the virus. Only after this step will they collect blood samples and nasal swabs for testing. Within a maximum of 72 hours, the result of the tests will be communicated to the participants.