This report is produced by OCHA Cameroon in collaboration with the COVID-19 Task Force. It covers the period from 1 to 30 June 2021. The next report will be issued in August 2021.
• For more than seven weeks, new COVID-19 cases have decreased. From 23 to 30 June, the number of cases detected per week decreased from 1,821 to 162.
• As of 30 June 2021, the Ministry of Public Health (MoH) recorded 1,872 active cases in the country. Cameroon is the ninth African country in relation to the number of total infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
• As of 28 June 2021, a total of 110,324 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the country and 21,991 people are fully vaccinated.
• From April to June 2021, UNHCR registered 226 cumulative COVID-19 cases among over 3,000 refugees tested in UNHCR supported health centres.
• On 16 June, the Minister of Communication Mr. René Emmanuel Sadi and the Minister of Public Health Mr. Manaouda Malachie organized a joint press conference aiming to raise awareness on vaccination against COVID-19 and encourage acceptance.
The number of COVID-19 new cases has considerably dropped in Cameroon in the last four weeks. The overall positivity rate for Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic and Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) decreased from six per cent with 180 positive cases, from 17 to 23 June, to less than two per cent, from 24 to 30 June, with 162 new cases per week.
On 11 June, during a working visit to the Edea regional hospital in the Littoral region and the Kribi district hospital in the East, the Minister of Public Health acknowledged health personnel’s efforts exerted in the fight against COVID-19. He also encouraged them to get vaccinated against the virus.
On 16 June, UNICEF announced the receipt of funding amounting to US$300,000 to strengthen Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) activities. The funding will be allocated mainly to enhance awareness activities in order to engage additional health personnel who remain against COVID-19 vaccine.
On 16 June, during his address to the President of the Scientific Council, technical partners, and media professionals, the Minister of Health recalled the objectives of the national vaccination plan against COVID-19. He presented the COVID-19 activities of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) which includes an operational plan to meet all the minimum requirements in terms of pharmacovigilance, coordination with the support of advisory groups, training of the personnel, guarantee of the cold chain, data monitoring, and communication and provision of immunization services necessary for the introduction of a new vaccine.
According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations on COVID-19 as of June 2021, following a second wave of the virus peaking in March 2021, cases and deaths considerably decreased, as per the decrease in PCR tests’ positivity rate. However, vigilance must be maintained in order to avoid a third wave, which is likely to occur at the end of the year if compliance with barrier measures and vaccination are not reinforced.
The vaccination campaign is also ongoing within United Nations Agencies and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs). As of 30 June, 653 people including 467 staff and 186 dependents have received the first vaccine dose at the UN Clinic. 197 people including 172 staff and 25 dependents received the second dose. The people who received at least one dose represent about ten per cent of the total staff and their dependents in Cameroon.
The UN clinic has been engaged in awareness raising campaigns on COVID-19 and vaccination for several weeks. The head of UN Clinic Dr. Ahmet Secka conducted awareness raising sessions in six UN agencies: World Food Programme (WFP), UNHCR, World Bank, OCHA, UNFPA, and UNESCO.
Gaps & constraints
• Low vaccine coverage and high risk of the spread of a severe third wave, given the different variants circulating within the country.
• 185,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine at risk of expiring by 23 August 2021 as of 26 June 2021.
• As of June, UNHCR has received only 26 per cent of the required funding for the 2021 COVID-19 response.
• Most of the partners have suspended COVID-19 activities because of lack of funding, although the threat is still present.