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Ghana records a new variant of coronavirus

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Ghana has recorded a new variant of the coronavirus, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.

The new strain, according to President Akufo-Addo, was recorded at the Kotoka International Airport following tests conducted on some travellers.

Delivering his 22nd address on the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, January 17, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said as a result of the new discovery, safety measures have been enhanced at the airport to ensure that the spread is controlled.

“Recent genomic sequencing undertaken by our scientists have established that some arriving passengers tested positive for new variants of COVID-19. These passengers have all been isolated.”

President Akufo-Addo disclosed that contract tracing is being done to know the extent to which the new strain has permeated the Ghanaian populace.

“Furthermore, work is ongoing to determine the presence and extent of spread of the new variants in the general population.”

In his 21st address, Nana Akufo-Addo announced enhanced measures at the airport to ensure that a new strain does not spread rapidly in the country.

“As of 1 January 2021, a total of seven hundred and twelve (712) positive cases out of one hundred and eighteen thousand, two hundred and seventy-eight (118, 278) tests conducted have been recorded among international arrivals at the Kotoka International Airport.

“Indeed, the month of December alone recorded three hundred and eighty-seven (387) cases. The positivity rate among international arrivals rose from 0.26% in September to 0.93% in December”.

“These developments call for a 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:

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;

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”, he said.

Akufo-Addo’s 22nd address to the nation on measures to fight coronavirus

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