Health

Red Alert: Ghana records 34 cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant

At least 34 cases of the Omicron variant of COVD-19 have been detected at the Kotoka International Airport, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has said.

It comes barely a day after the director general of the Ghana Health Service announced that just two cases of the variant had been confirmed at the airport.

The Omicron variant which was first detected in South Africa has been described as á variant of concern’ as several countries have already imposed travel restrictions on South Africa due to the high rate of transmissibility.

The institute in a twitter post said it is monitoring the potential spread of the virus within the Ghanaian population.

“The Omicron variant was detected in 28 percent (34 out of 120) returning travelers samples, ( collected from 21-25 November) sequenced. These are the first imported cases of the variant into Ghana, and we are closely monitoring its potential spread in the local population. We encourage the general public to continue adhering to the COVID-19 prevention protocols.”

Nigeria detect cases

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has detected the Omicron variant in travelers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.

In a press release, the body warns that it is a matter of “when, not if” more cases are identified.

The organization says its research suggests that given the likely high transmissibility of the variant, it is imperative to introduce measures to curb community transmission like “increased COVID-19 testing”.

Earlier this week, the government of Canada said that it had discovered two cases of the variant from two passengers from Nigeria.

However, the Nigerian health authorities said that it was investigating the issue to get more details.

Canada has now added Nigeria to the list of countries where travelers are barred from entering into its territory, following the discovery.

Omicron has been rated by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern”.

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