#COVID19: Gabon Records Drop In Omicron Variant Infections

Gabon health authorities claim to have control of the COVID-19 Omicron variant since it was discovered on Jan. 5, in the country.

Gabon’s Pilot Committee for the Fight Against COVID-19 (COPIL), says the country has recorded a drop in the number of infections from the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country.

The Omicron variant which was detected in the country on Jan. 5, 2022 had in the last two weeks constituted 30 per cent of COVID-19 infections in the country though it caused fewer deaths than earlier variants.

The Omicron COVID-19 variant in Gabon had its epicentre in Estuaire province and Grand-Libreville in particular but latest indications suggest that contamination is declining.

“At the level of Franceville, we have the responsibility of genomic surveillance. When this variant emerged, we went to work to put in place techniques which would permit us to identify the Omicron variant and the data we have for the month of December indicates that of 90 contaminations recorded, the Omicron variant represented over 80 per cent of the cases,” revealed Jean Bernard Lekana-Douki, Director of the Franceville International Centre for Medical Research (FICMR).

Lekana-Douki explained that Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet and is the 15th variant of the COVID-19 so far discovered adding that in its composition, the variant has three parts to which it is cut and which do not exist in the initial variant.

The FICMR Director revealed that Omicron presents a larger number of mutations and “when we have mutations, the consequence is that we become stronger or become weaker. The data which is currently circulating in the world shows that even if the number of cases explodes, this variant causes fewer deaths.”

Since the confirmation of the presence of the Omicron variant in Gabon on Jan. 5, 2022, the FICMR Director said, only nine persons have died from the COVID-19 adding that during the whole month of Dec. 2021, the country recorded only 11 fatalities.

“If by the beginning of January 2022 the positivity rate of Covid reached up to 31.5 per cent according to the epidemiological situation noted by COPIL from Jan. 14 to Jan. 16, 2022, this rate has dropped to 6.7 per cent. 

Of 3,765 tests carried out in nine provinces of the country, 253 were declared positive with 126 in Libreville, 111 in Port-Gentil, 8 in Bitam, 3 in Lastrourville, 2 in Mouila, 1 in Lambarene. No new positive case was declared in Haut-Ogooue and in Nyanga,” COPIL indicated in a report.

“The number of active COVID-19 cases in the country has also dropped from 5,323 on Jan. 13, 2022 to 5,217 on Jan. 16, 2022.”

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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