The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research says it has detected 34 cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant from some 120 samples of returning travelers into the country.

According to the institute, the number represents a 28% positive rate for the samples collected between November 21 and 25, 2021, at the Kotoka International Airport.


This comes after the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye announced Ghana’s first cases of the Omicron variant in the country.

“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,” he told pressmen on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.

With no records of a community spread of the new variant in the country, the Noguchi Institute in a statement on its Twitter page noted that “these are the first imported cases of the new variant in Ghana.”

The institute added that it is “closely monitoring its potential spread in the local population” and encouraged the general public to continue adhering to the COVID-19 prevention protocols.”

A new heavily mutated version of the SARS-CoV 2 has recently been found as the latest variant of the virus. The variant which is known as the Omicron variant was firstly confirmed in South Africa.

The World Health Organisation has said that “It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta. Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.”



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