The Programme Manager of the Extended Programme on Immunization (EPI), Dr Kwame Amponsah-Akyianu says the highly contagious Indian variant of COVID-19 detected in Ghana has not yet entered communities.
“For any strain in the world to get in the country, it was only a matter of time. It is quite recent but I won’t know the exact time it entered this country. It is recent but mainly at the Airport and the people have been quarantined. The information I have is that it has not entered the communities yet,” he told Francis Abban on Morning Starr Tuesday.
The disclosure of the variant in Ghana was first disclosed by the Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP, of the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare.
“Overall we have about 45 or 46 different variants. The trend shows that all these normally come from travelers. Now that the Delta (Indian Variant) is taking over, it’s just a matter of time before it will come here in large quantities. We have a few here but it’s going to increase,” he told Accra-based Joy FM.
The Delta variant of COVID-19, partly blamed for India’s explosive second wave, has been called a triple mutant variant since it is split into three lineages. Scientists and doctors call it ‘B.1.617.2’, and some sections of the global media call it the “Indian variant”.
Meanwhile, The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has advised Ghanaians who intend to travel to countries with exceedingly high Covid infection rates to postpone or cancel their trip.
This, according to the ministry, is in view of the alarming rate of Covid cases in some parts of the world including Asia and South America. The ministry in a statement said it has stipulated guidelines for essential travels to any of these countries. Also, guidelines for people arriving in Ghana have been outlined.
In addition to already existing Covid-19 protocols, all travelers leaving and arriving in Ghana are to note that only test results or certificates bearing trusted travel or biomars codes will be considered valid.
Per the statement, travelers are to sign up for accounts on trustedtravels.panabios.org with the same email address and mobile numbers provided to laboratories during testing.
“Travelers arriving Ghana are to use a tool made available through the UNDP-Supported Global Haven Partnership Covid-19 PCR test results certification verification.”
All arriving passengers who test negative for Covid-19 at the airport are encouraged to self isolate for ten days and all passengers arriving from designated Covid-19 hotspots and testing negative at the airport may be subjected to a repeat test on the third day of arrival at their cost.