Madagascar prepares for the threat of the Delta variant



Doctors receive a patient for a Covid-19 test at the Andohatapenaka medical center in Antananarivo in July 2020 (illustrative image).


© AFP – RIJASOLO
Doctors receive a patient for a Covid-19 test at the Andohatapenaka medical center in Antananarivo in July 2020 (illustrative image).

The Delta variant roams the Indian Ocean and threatens Madagascar. It was detected in Réunion and Mauritius, the Malagasy government has therefore decided to extend the closure of the borders for an indefinite period in order to protect the country. According to the sequencing in progress on the island, the variant has not been detected on the territory, but the authorities are preparing for this eventuality.

With our correspondent in Antananarivo, Laure Verneau

Madagascar is able to sequence the strains to detect the Delta variant. According to André Spiegel, director of the Institut Pasteur in Antananarivo, the organization is able to sequence 25 strains per week. ” We sent samples twice to Paris, precisely to increase our capacities », He explains.

The Institut Pasteur has been sequencing strains since March. The results are sent to the Malagasy authorities only who then communicate them to the public.

Officially, therefore, there is no Delta variant on Malagasy territory and the epidemic remains stable. The number of hospitalized cases is decreasing, as are confirmed severe cases. There are about twenty of them in the three main hospitals in the capital, according to a doctor who prefers to remain anonymous.

The Ministry of Health said a few days ago that strategies were already in place to address the Delta variant without specifying which ones.

The Delta variant is 30 to 60% more contagious than other variants, according to the World Health Organization, which indicates that it is present in 16 African countries.

► To read also: Covid-19: what are the variants circulating in Africa?

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