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General News of Tuesday, 22 June 2021


Coronavirus: Delta strain enters Ghana, scientists call for urgent measures to stop spread

Coronavirus has claimed the lives of millions globally Coronavirus has claimed the lives of millions globally

The Delta strain of COVID-19, popular in India and responsible for several deaths is reported to have been recorded in Ghana. According to experts, the strain high transmissibility and is highly infectious.

Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens at the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awandare says this variant adds to several others in circulation, adding urgent action is required to prevent a case surge.

“Overall we have about thirty-six different variants. The strain shows that all this normally comes from travellers. If you have more travellers coming in with a particular then it will reflect in the local population so now that the delta is taking over, it just a matter of time before it will come here in large quantity. So we have a few here but it going to increase, we have to go back to being serious about the protocols and also to tightening the screening at the airport and mandatory quarantine. These are very important to limit the influx of the new variant,” he said.

But the economic advisor to the vice president, Gideon Boako, said even though the Delta variant has been identified it is not yet in the population. Speaking to Berla Mundi on TV3’s New Day Tuesday he said it is important to put the issue in perspective.

“On the Delta strain that we talked about, yes we have been told that the new strain which has been found in India has also been found in Ghana but there is some level of distinction that we need to put across. Um, there is a difference between having the delta strain in your population and having identified the strain in your jurisdiction. So as we speak currently the delta strain has been identified within the Ghanaian jurisdiction but it is not within the population,” he said.

The Delta variant is believed to be nearly resistant to the AstraZeneca and Sputnik vaccines. Dr. Awandare wants the state to consider the unique characteristics of the variant in procuring vaccines.

Adding: “We have to start shifting towards looking for more of phizer and others which have a better chance of protecting against this variant. Because the future is this aggressive variant, that’s where we are going. The UK strain will probably be received soon it will be replaced by some of these variants.”

Ghana’s case count as of June 17 stood at 45 new cases and 1,260 active cases. Four Regions, Northern, Upper East, Upper West do not have active cases. The death toll is at 794.