Coronavirus: Deadly delta strain may be in the communities – GHS

The deadly Delta variant of coronavirus recorded in Ghana may have entered the community, Dr Franklyn Asiedu-Bekoe, Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has revealed.

This is contrary to earlier claims by the Ghana Health Service that the virus may yet have entered the community.

Dr Asiedu-Bekoe explained on the Key Points on TV3, Saturday, June 26, that although the GHS has no evidence to conclude that the deadly virus has permeated the communities, it is most likely that persons who tested negative at the airport may have tested positive days after getting home.

“We are driven by evidence. We do not have the evidence that the Delta is in the community but you can make an inference that it is possible it is in the community because people who come into the country may be negative at the airport but they can become positive in the community.” He stated.

“In terms of evidence we do not have evidence that we have Delta in the community but base on inference you can say it is possible.

“Though we are not saying the Delta is in or not for us we assume that we have Delta in the community. So we are working with the assumption that Delta may be in the community though we don’t have the evidence that it is in the community,” he told host Abena Tabi.

The GHS earlier this week, confirmed that Ghana has detected six Delta variants of Covid-19 so far.

The variants were confirmed from samples taken from passengers at the Kotoka International Airport between April and June.

A statement by the GHS said “all passengers who test positive at Kotoka International Airport (KIA) are put under mandatory isolation.

“All positive samples are sent for further testing (genomic sequencing) to identify the variants. Variants sequenced from samples of positive cases at the Airport do not necessarily end up in the community.

“As of now, the country has detected six Delta variants of the SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus) from all samples taken between April and June, 2021 at the ports of entry. No Delta variant has been detected from samples taken from cases in the community.

“The MOH and GHS further inform the general public that in April 2021, there was a surge in cases at the airport during which period 308 positives were identified.

“However, Ghana has not experienced a third wave partly due to the robust surveillance system in place at the ports of entry and strict isolation of all cases detected.”

On the issue of vaccines, the GHS noted that reports that Sputnik-V and AstraZeneca vaccines are not effective against the Delta strain of SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes coronavirus) are untrue.

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

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