Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia

The Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia has hailed recent strides made by Ghanaian scientists in the discovery of the genetic composition of Covid-19 strains in Ghana.

Scientists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), both at the University of Ghana, announced they have obtained data from viral strains in 15 of confirmed cases in the country.

The discovery will help them gain a comprehensive understanding of the virus variations present in Ghana.

Dr Mawumia couldn’t be prouder.

In a Facebook post he said the development is a major contribution to science in the fight against Covid-19 and something for which Ghanainas should be proud of.

“We have the capability and our research institutions do make significant contributions to science. We can do it if we put our minds to it!

“I am proud of our scientists,” he added.

The successful establishment of the sequencing capability, according to the Director of the NMIMR, Prof Abraham Anang would strengthen surveillance for tracking mutations of the virus and aid in the tracing of the sources of community infections in people with no known contact with confirmed cases.

Explaining further the data obtained from the samples, Director of WACCBIP, Prof Gordon Awandare said the models indicate Ghana is dealing with the same pathogen and the genetic make-up has not changed significantly yet.

“The data tells us that, while there were some differences between the strains from the various countries, all the 15 genomes generally resembled (with >92% similarity) the reference strain that was isolated in the Wuhan Province of China, where the outbreak began,” the statement attributed to him.

“It is natural that pathogens will evolve as they encounter different environmental challenges, so we will need to continue monitoring to keep track with these changes and determine how they impact on the efficacy of potential drugs or vaccines that are being developed,” he added.