Minister of Public Health (Minsanté) Manaouda Malachie (photo) recently warned of the risks of the resurgence of the Covid-19 epidemic in Cameroon. The warning follows the appearance of a new variant. "A slight outbreak of a new variant of Covid-19 has been reported in certain countries with which Cameroon has important trade relationships. I would therefore like to call on everyone to observe the relevant public health measures and to get vaccinated to protect themselves," the official wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on August 16.
On August 18, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was closely monitoring a new variant of the virus called EG.5 or Eris. It has spread to many countries, including the USA, France, the UK, Israel, and South Africa. The WHO has classified it "as a variant under surveillance due to the very large number (over 30) of mutations in the Spike gene (which enables the virus to enter cells, editor's note) that it carries."
The UN agency considers the public health risk of this sub-variant to be low due to its proximity to variants already in circulation. However, it points out that Eris could become dominant in certain countries or on a global scale, leading to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. On May 5, the WHO declared the end of Covid-19 as a public health emergency of international concern but indicated that it remains a "threat" to global health. This announcement led to a relaxation of anti-pandemic measures in most countries around the world.
In Cameroon, authorities decided to lift health controls at the country's borders, while the need to wear a mask in public places is now a distant memory. As of July 30, 2023, Cameroon officially had 125,120 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,974 deaths. According to Minsanté figures, some 3,701,750 people have received at least one dose of vaccine since the start of the vaccination campaign on April 12, 2021, representing vaccination coverage of 26.3% of the target population.