- The Indian COVID-19, the Delta variant, has been recorded in Ghana
- Six people have tested positive of the variant
- Ghana Health Service says the variant is contained at KIA
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Ghana has recorded the extremely contagious COVID-19 variant from India.
Professor Gordon Awendare—head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana—confirmed the existence of the Delta variant in the country.
The Delta variant is one of the 45 variants currently in Ghana.
"The trend shows that all these normally come from travellers. However, now that the Delta (Indian Variant) is taking over, it's just a matter of time before it will come here in large quantities," Professor Awendare stated as reported by myjoyonline.com.
According to Awendare, the arrival of the Delta variant in the country means that the government of Ghana needs to start looking at other vaccines.
He said the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are ineffective against the Delta variant.
"We have to shift towards more Pfizer and others that have a better chance of protecting against this variant. Because the future is, we are going towards these aggressive variants," he stated.
A variant of global concern
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified the Delta variant as a "variant of global concern".
The WHO found that it spreads more quickly than other variants.
We must scaled-up testing at KIA
Fred Binka, a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), Ho, urged the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to scale up testing to contain the Indian variant getting out of hands.
GHS said six detected Delta variants had been confirmed in the country.
The variant was confirmed from samples taken from passengers at the Kotoka International Airport between April and June.
Speaking on News 360 on TV3, Prof Binka said: "We have to test more now and be able to detect where this virus is going and stop saying it is only at the airport. If you don't test the more, how many positives will you find."
Ghana facing challenges with vaccination
Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says Ghana is facing challenges with its vaccination programme.
This, according to the president, is because of the difficulty in getting access to COVID-19 vaccines.
On Monday, March 1, 2021, the president became the first person to be vaccinated after Ghana took delivery of some 600,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Ghana, on February 22, took delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine as part of the UN-led COVAX facility.