The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed that cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus (Covid-19) have been recorded in Ghana on November 21.
The confirmation was made by the Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kumah Aboagye in Accra on Wednesday December 1.
“There is the emergence of the new variant and I must say, through the robust testing at the Kotoka International Airport, Ghana has detected the Omicron variant already and the cases have come mainly from Nigeria and South Africa. The very first case that was detected during our sequencing was on the 21 of November”, Dr Patrick Kumah Aboagye told pressmen.
The new variant, according to the GHS, has not yet been detected in the communities. However, Dr. Kumah Aboagye mentioned there is the potential of a community spread “if someone has omicron and it’s incubating it will not be detected at the airport”.
He said it is important for all to adhere to all the Covid-19 protocols especially as the festive season nears and more visited are expected.
About the Omicron variant
First identified in Botswana and South Africa, this new iteration of the coronavirus has prompted concern among scientists and public health officials because of an unusually high number of mutations that have the potential to make the virus more transmissible and less susceptible to existing vaccines.
The World Health Organization has called Omicron a “variant of concern” and on Monday warned that the global risks posed by it were “very high,” despite what officials described as a multitude of uncertainties. Cases have been identified in 20 countries so far, including Britain, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. Although Omicron has not yet been detected in the United States, experts say it is only a matter of time before the variant shows up.