COVID-19: Deadly Indian variant found in Ghana
The most contagious Covid-19 variant, the Delta variant, has been recorded in Ghana.
Head of the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP, at the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare, confirmed the news.
According to him, the Indian variant is one of the 45 variants that are currently in Ghana.
“Overall, we have about 45 or 46 different variants. The trend shows that all these normally come from travellers. 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,” Professor Awendare warned.
So dangerous is the variant that Sputnik V and AstraZeneca vaccine in Ghana are not effective against the strain.
“Now we have to be looking at the right vaccines. All this while, we’ve been fixed on AstraZeneca and Sputnik V, but 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 advised.
It was first recorded in Maharashtra, India, back in October 2020.
Stressing on the need to expedite action to curb the new strain spread, Prof. Awendare said the government must immediately enforce the Covid-19 preventive protocols to stem a potential spread.
He added that the controls at the airport must be tightened to stop additional importation.
The delta variant is now present in more than 80 countries, and it is more transmissible than the alpha variant.
It has caused huge spikes in India and the UK, although large sections of the population in those countries are vaccinated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified it as a “variant of global concern”.
It said preliminary studies showed that this specific mutation spreads more easily than other variants.
A mutation is elevated from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern” (VOC) when it shows evidence of fulfilling at least one of several criteria, including easy transmission, more severe illness, reduced neutralization by antibodies, or reduced effectiveness of treatment and vaccines according to the global health body.