Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Asiedu Bekoe, has confirmed that Ghana has recorded some cases of the contagious Indian variant of Covid-19.
Dr Bekoe confirmed the presence of the new deadly Indian variant in Ghana during an interview on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show. Tuesday. He gave the assurance that the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is doing everything possible to curb its spread.
The Director of Public Health explained however, that the new variant, also known as (Delta variant), was recorded at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and not in any community. “No evidence of it has been traced to the communities,” he stressed.
He revealed that about 4-6 weeks ago, a surge in the number of persons infected with the Delta variant was recorded at KIA. These were passengers who flew into Ghana from India, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates.
Dr Bekoe said before discovering the new variant in the country, officials of GHS assumed the spike in cases at KIA resulted from infected persons having close contact with non-infected persons in the aeroplane.
“We try to follow them up and do the test. At that time, most of them tested negative. Then, there was nothing like a Delta variant.”
“So what we’re doing is that, when we get a case, we try to follow you up. I’m talking about the negative passengers. We try to identify you, and we try to take a sample from you. But those who are positive, those are the ones that they do the genome sequencing.”
Clarifying why GHS officials had to follow up on passengers who tested negative at KIA, Dr Bekoe said, “it is assumed that persons coming from such areas, may have come into contact with the variant or could be carrying the virus. So we follow them up to test them. And we didn’t get any positive cases,” he said.
In efforts to quickly detect new variants and curb their spread into the communities, Dr Bekoe said that the airport and health facilities in the country have equipped themselves with the required technology.
“Do you have a Solar System that can pick it early? Yes. It’s at the airport, and it’s also at the health facility. Clearly, if you detect it, can you do contact tracing? Yes. We have contact tracers all over the country. Do you have the health facility equipped? Yes.”
Looking at data from January and February this year, he said that Ghana is currently better off since there is no community surge.
“What we need to do is to heighten up the awareness,” he said.
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