The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has stated that the Covid-19 testing facility at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) is able to detect the new strain of Covid-19 spreading from Europe.
This was also confirmed by the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA).
The service, however, has urged that to be on the safer side, the country must do everything possible to ensure that the new variant is not imported into the country.
“We know that there’s a new strain which according to studies is a bit more efficient in terms of transmission from one person to the other. What has not been proven so far is whether this causes a more severe disease than the previous one,” Director General of the service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said.
This comment comes after news broke that other variants of the novel coronavirus have been detected in some parts of Europe, Japan and South Africa.
Scientists say the new strain has dozens of mutations including genetic changes in the spike protein that the coronavirus uses to infect human cells. It is also said to be up to 70% more contagious.
Throwing more light on the matter, Dr Kuma Aboagye stated that the new strain is yet to be identified in Ghana.
However, he is optimistic that with the measures in place at the country’s international air border, the risk of the new variant being imported into the country is very low.
“We in Ghana have not identified it here. But because of our double tier testing system at the airport, we believe that if these people who go home on isolation adhere to the protocols we should be protected from bringing in that strain into the country,” he said.
That notwithstanding, he has assured that should the new strain be identified in the country, the health service will do everything in its power to contain it.