President Akufo-Addo has indicated that Ghana has not recorded a new variant of the coronavirus.
In his 21st National Address on how the government was dealing with the outbreak, the president said as of 1st January, the number of active cases in Ghana stands at eight hundred and seventy-nine (879) cases, with fifty-three thousand, and five (54,005) recoveries, eighteen (18) severely ill but no critical cases.
”We have conducted six hundred and seventy-four thousand, eight hundred and twelve (674,812) tests, with fifty-five thousand, two hundred and twenty (55,220) positive cases detected. There have, sadly, been three hundred and thirty-six (336) deaths.
This is a relatively welcome picture when regard is paid to the data from other countries, especially also at a time when many parts of the world are having to grapple with the second wave of infections and a new variant of the virus, which is said to be more transmissible than the original version.
Thus far, we, in Ghana, have not detected any case of this new variant. Our scientists tell us that the genetic make-up of the virus in the country has still not changed.”
He stated that the development calls for the strengthening of the existing protocols to prevent the spread of the disease in Ghana, in light of the new variant of the virus. Therefore, the following measures will be implemented, in addition to existing guidelines on International Travel for COVID-19, in Ghana:
1. all arriving passengers who test positive for COVID-19, asymptomatic or not, will undergo mandatory isolation and treatment at a designated health facility or isolation centre. The isolation will be for a period of seven (7) days at the cost of Government. However, the final discharge of cases will be based on existing case management guidelines and protocols;
2. all passengers who are in isolation will undergo a repeat COVID-19 test within twenty-four (24) hours of arrival, with the cost also borne by Government. This test will also include genomic sequencing for COVID-19; and
3. all passengers who test negative for COVID-19 will be required to adhere continuously to COVID-19 safety protocols and will receive regular information on COVID-19 within five (5) days of arrival in Ghana.
He also assured Ghanaians that Ghana has what it takes to detect the new variant of the virus which is said to be more contagious.
”I want to assure all Ghanaians that the testing regime in place at Kotoka is amongst the strictest in the world, and, as certified by the Food and Drugs Authority, it is capable of detecting this new variant of COVID-19, which is plaguing other nations around the world.”