The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe says testing is ongoing to determine if the new variant of the coronavirus has emerged in the country.
This comes days after Nigeria recorded cases of the virus.
The discovery in Nigeria according to some could cause fear and panic after similar variants of the new virus that appear to be more contagious, were announced in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
But in an interview with Citi News, Dr. Asiedu-Bekoe assured that Ghana’s preventive set-up will ensure that any new strain is identified and brought under control.
“We have adopted the strategy of testing people before they enter the country. We have made the PCR testing mandatory. We also do the antigen tests. When we get the positives, we pass them on to Nuguchi to do the sequencing, they did it two months ago and did not identify any new virus strain. What they are doing now, with the advent of the new virus variant is, they are collecting the samples to see whether there are any in Ghana.”
“However, per what we have gathered so far, there is no evidence of such in the country,” he indicated.
Belgium and Netherlands ban flights from UK over new COVID-19 variant
A number of European countries have or are considering banning travel from the UK to prevent the spread of a more infectious variant of coronavirus.
Both the Netherlands and Belgium have suspended flights. Trains to Belgium have also been banned.
Italy’s foreign minister has indicated his government plans to ban flights. France and Germany are reportedly planning a similar action.
The new variant has spread fast in London and south-East England.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday introduced a new tier-four level of restrictions, scrapping a planned relaxation of rules over the Christmas period for millions of people.
Top health officials said that there was no evidence the new variant was more deadly or would react differently to vaccines, but it was proving to be up to 70% more transmissible.