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Delta strain detected in Ghana, but no evidence of community spread yet – GHS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says the Delta Coronavirus strain, first detected in India, has been identified in Ghana through testing at the port health centre, but there is currently no evidence of community spread.

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. However, no Delta variant has been detected from samples taken from cases in the community.

Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, Director of Public Health, GHS, said that the Delta variant was highly contagious and the AstraZeneca and Sputnik v vaccines were effective against it.

However, the Pfizer vaccine, had a higher effectiveness – 88 per cent effect against the delta strain.

“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 Ghana Health Service also explained in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency.

“The data also suggest that the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant.”

It said a study conducted by Gamaleya Center suggested that, Sputnik-V was more efficient against the Delta variant of coronavirus, compared to other COVID-19 vaccines.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has, however, warned that the delta the highly contagious, was the fastest coronavirus strain, and it will “pick off” the most vulnerable people in places with low vaccination rates.

Dr Asiedu – Bekoe said persons who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 could contract the virus but their level of risk and severity of infection would be less severe than that of those who had not been vaccinated at all.

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe said observing the COVID-19 safety protocol was, therefore, the surest way to get protected against the variant stressing, “Whether it is the Delta, Alpha or Liter coronavirus strain, the safety protocols apply to all.

“We all need to mask up, observe social distancing and wash our hands regularly with soap under running water”.

The public health director explained that Ghana opted for the AstraZeneca vaccine because it was easier to administer and its cold chain was common to all traditions.

He urged the public to take charge of their health and protect themselves against the virus as the nation awaited more vaccines from the COVAX Facility and explored avenues to get vaccines to innoculate more people.

The earliest documented COVID-19 case caused by the delta variant (B.1.617.2) was first found in the Indian state of Maharashtra in October 2020, and has since spread widely throughout India and across the world.

The WHO labelled it a “variant of concern” (VOC) on May 11. The variant is now present in about 80 countries and it is the most transmissible coronavirus strain. Symptoms of the delta strain identified so far include, headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever and others.

However, the “traditional” Covid symptoms such as a cough and loss of smell is said to be much rarer now, with younger people experiencing much more of a bad cold.

Source: GNA

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