Cameroon: COVID 19 Emergency Situation Report No. 09 – As of 15 October 2020

• Between 1 and 14 October, the Cameroonian Ministry of Health recorded 406 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number to 21,203, including 423 deaths and 20,117 recoveries. An overall of 863 healthcare workers have been infected, including 20 deaths.
• Rapid diagnostic tests continue to expand in the ten regions of the country with an average 2,098 tests performed daily.
• Seven months after the construction of eight treatment centers over the country to manage COVID-19 cases, three makeshift hospitals are being dismantled in Yaoundé, Douala and Limbe.
• Lack of facemasks, handwashing stations and sufficient physical distancing in schools in the North-West and SouthWest regions of Cameroon may expose students to COVID-19 contamination in the opening of the school year with the highest rate of attendance since 2017.
SITUATION OVERVIEW
As of 7 October, WHO reported 440,440 Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT) conducted in Cameroon in the last 210 days, including 7,048 positive samples. According to the organization, 2,098 RDT are performed daily in average country wide, with continuous expansion of RTD and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing capacities in the ten regions. Fifteen laboratories are operational country wide for RDT whereas for PCR tests the South region needs to send the samples to the Centre region for analysis and results. Regarding the humanitarian staff, the United Nations clinic in Cameroon reported 104 cumulative cases among the UN personnel, dependents and NGO partners, including seven active cases – none of them severe – as of 7 October 2020. The COVID-19 center in the clinic is operational and facilitates PCR testing for UN and other humanitarian staff since 3 September to ensure timely response activities in the field.
As the number of COVID-19 infection cases declines, the Government of Cameroon dismantled three makeshift hospitals in Douala’s Mbappe Leppe stadium (Littoral region), in Limbe Middle Farms stadium (South-West region) and in Yaoundé NgoaEkellé stadium (Centre region), among the eight COVID-19 treatment centers constructed to give an adequate and timely response in all the regions. Center and Littoral regions remain the most affected by the pandemic with the highest number of new positive cases among the population as well as medical staff.
The main objective of the 2020/2021 school year was to encourage children to resume classes over the country, amidst COVID-19 crisis. In a report published in August 2019, UNICEF revealed that 80 per cent of schools had closed in the NorthWest and South-West regions since the beginning of the crisis, preventing over 3,000 students to attend classes. According to the Governor of the North-West region in an interview given on 7 October 2020, both the North-West and South-West regions have recorded the highest rate of school attendance since 2017. This auspicious reopening of schools was however hampered by the neglect of prevention measures: Children were admitted in classrooms without masks and schools do not have handwashing devices. UNICEF donated handwashing stations for schools in the North-West and South-West regions to support the Government’s “Back to School campaign without COVID-19”. Yet regional delegations for education in these areas face financial hardship to transport the material to various localities where schools have reopened

Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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