Covid-19: Transmission rises at the community level

Monday, 14 September 2020 16:48
Covid-19: Transmission rises at the community level

(Togo First) - In the last few weeks, Togo has recorded a surge in the number of Covid-19 cases in the regions of Kara and the Savanes. New outbreaks have been reported in the prefectures of Assoli, Tchaoudjo, Kozah, Sotouboua, and Tchamba while some weeks ago the pandemic was stabilizing. 

This has led authorities to place the concerned localities under lockdown. For now, the restrictive measures have helped contain the propagation of the virus. 

The information was disclosed during the latest press briefing of the national team coordinating the response to the pandemic: the CNGR, which is led by Col. Djibril Mohaman. 

Community-based transmission and related challenges

Considering the spread and distribution of cases, the country seems to be moving toward a community-based transmission mode. This means it will be more difficult, or even impossible, to track all cases as new outbreaks erupt.  

“Currently, we are witnessing a shift in the disease at the community level, and therefore an increase in cases,” the CNGR said. This would result in “higher risk in hospitals and health workers, as the number of suspected cases increases.”

In this framework, the government has announced special insurance for all health workers. 

Number of deaths on the rise 

In terms of figures, the last few weeks have been marked by a sustained but stable increase in cases.

Last week, 112 new cases were reported. This is against 107 cases the week before that. As for recovered individuals, they were 109 last week and 116 the previous one.

The main issue, according to the CNGR, is the number of deaths which has recently worsened. Last week, six people died. However, two-thirds of deaths recorded in the country so far are strongly related to comorbidities. Actually, “since the pandemic broke out in the country, only 11 or 12 deaths were exclusively caused by Covid-19.” 

Slowing propagation and raising awareness

The CNGR noted that the main factors behind the surge in numbers are movement between prefectures, traditional feasts, weddings, burials, and not respecting safety measures imposed by the government...or even the denial of the disease’s existence. 

In response, authorities are putting more pressure on local elected officials to raise awareness regarding these measures and their application. Also, towns celebrating traditional feasts are systematically locked down; as it was recently done in Aneho. 

As of Sept. 11th, Togo had officially reported 1,537 cases of Covid-19, thus 185 cases per million inhabitants, 37 deaths, 1,145 recoveries, and 355 active cases.

On the same date, the number of cases across the continent was 1.33 million (644,000 in South Africa alone), 1.07 million recoveries, and 32,000 deaths. Worldwide, 28.4 million cases have been reported; 915,000 died and 20.4 million recovered. The US, India, and Brazil have the highest number of cases. 

Ayi Renaud Dossavi

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