Covid-19 Delta Variant Not Detected In Communities -GHS

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have indicated that the Delta variant of Covid-19 has not been detected in communities.

According to a statement signed by the Director-General, GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, no Delta variant has been detected from samples taken from cases in the community.

“As of now, the country has detected six Delta variants of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) from all samples taken between April and June 2021 at the ports of entry,” the statement indicated.

The health service noted that all passengers who test positive at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) are put under mandatory isolation.

“All positive samples are sent for further testing (genomic sequencing) to identify the variants.

Variants sequenced from samples of positive cases at the Airport do not necessarily end up in the community,” it explained.

The MOH and GHS further stated that the country in April 2021, experienced a surge in cases at the airport during which period 308 positives were identified.

However, it said Ghana has not experienced the third wave partly due to the robust surveillance system in place at the ports of entry and strict isolation of all cases detected.

The health authorities reiterated their assurance that the Sputnik-V and AstraZeneca vaccines are effective against the Delta strain of SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

“According to Public Health England (PHE), two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are highly effective against hospitalisation due to the Delta variant and showed no deaths among those vaccinated. The data also suggest that the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant,” the statement said.

A study conducted by Gamaleya Center suggests that Sputnik-V is more efficient against the Delta variant of coronavirus, first detected in India, compared to other COVID-19 vaccines.

Amid global supply shortages, the MOH and GHS reiterated their efforts to ensure that adequate vaccines are procured to protect the population.

“The MOH, GHS and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) are working collaboratively to ensure that vaccines that come into the country are safe and effective.

The Service would like to urge Ghanaians to take advantage of vaccination when their turn is due while entreating the general public to adhere to the COVID-19 prevention protocols i.e., wearing of face masks, practising hand hygiene and physical distancing as part of the strategies,” it said.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri