By Andrew Nsoseka & Neville Mesumbe
The number of persons diagnosed with the novel coronavirus has drastically increased in the Northwest Region of Cameroon.
The number of confirmed cases, as of June 30, stands at 497 diagnosed from 12 out of 19 Health districts in the Northwest Region.
A release from the Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr Kingsley Soh Che, says the number of confirmed cases is increasing due to systematic identification and massive testing of all suspected cases of the virus with the Antigen Rapid Diagnostic Tests, RDTs.
“So far, 14 out of 19 health districts have been conducting this Rapid Antigen Testing. These are Bamenda, Bali, Batibo, Benokumo, Fundong, Kumbo East, Kumbo West, Ndop, Ndu, Nkambe, Oku, Santa, Tubah and Wum Health Districts. The remaining five health districts are yet to begin testing. Testing has been extended to some schools within the region,” Dr Soh Che stated.
He said, out of the 497 cases, five were confirmed in Bali Health District, 13 in Bafut Health District, 360 in Bamenda Health District, four in Batibo Health District, 62 in Fundong HD, nine in Kumbo East HD, four in Mbengwi HD, one in Ndop Health District, one in Nkambe Health District, 12 in Santa HD, nine in Tubah HD, three in Wum HD, and l4 imported from out of the Northwest Region.
According to the release, 66 out of the confirmed cases have been linked to treatment, 259 are currently on treatment with 15 hospitalised and seven on oxygen, while 40 have been quarantined in the centre and 204 are being treated at home. The release further said that 121 have recovered and discharged from treatment center, while 51 died. Among the 51 confirmed, 45 died in Bamenda and six in Mbingo.
Dr. Soh Che averred that the confirmed cases are currently being treated in 10 out of 13 health facilities: Regional Hospital Bamenda, Mbingo Baptist Hospital, Niinikom Catholic Hospital, Shisong Catholic Hospital, Santa District Hospital, Tubah District Hospital, Wum District Hospital, St Joseph Catholic Hospital Widikum, Nkambe District Hospital and Bali District Hospital, meanwhile, the remaining 13 health facilities will start treating COVID-19 cases immediately a case is identified within their area.
The Regional Delegate called on the public to stop stigmatising and spreading fake news on health facilities involved in treating COVID-19 cases. According to Dr. Soh Che, such stigmatisation and fake news propagation will only lead to more contamination and death of COVID-19 patients in the Region. He called on the public to collaborate with health officials in fighting the pandemic.
So far, 1,397 persons have been tested with RDTs within the last two weeks, giving a total of 2,215 persons tested since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Northwest Region.