Covid-19 Variant Allegedly Linked To Cameroon: Public Health Minister Sets Reccords Straight

Here below is a press release from the Public Health Minister

The Minister of Public Health, Dr. MANAOUDA Malachie, informs the national and international public that information circulating in several media and social networks reports the identification of a new variant of the COVID-19 Virus, SARS COV2 which originates from Cameroon.

This information comes from an approximate summary of a "pre-print" type document, that is, a presentation of unvalidated scientific data. The preliminary analysis of the data presented shows major shortcomings in the methodological approach leading to the resulting assertions. As a result, these documents have at this stage no scientific evidence status.

This is a presentation of eight cases of COVID-19 (3 adults and 5 children) carrying viruses whose sequence and clinical and biological elements presented, at this stage, do not make it a variant. Moreover, only one of the eight cases is presented as having made a trip to Cameroon without the chronology of events making it possible to establish a relationship between the said trip and the alleged infection.

Moreover, no chronological sequence of infections of the eight patients is presented, nor any element of contact analysis allowing the person who traveled to Cameroon to be considered as an index case bordering on a simple stigmatization of our country.

To date, neither the international scientific and health authorities, nor the Cameroonian Scientific Council have provided any validation and do not confirm the transparency of the approach of the teams authoring the communication in question.

Cameroon has 24 PCR laboratories and four sequencing platforms enabling it to diagnose cases of COVID-19 infection and to participate with dignity in international scientific efforts for epidemiological and genomic surveillance, with the transparency and promptness required in the event of a global public health threat.



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