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Ghana records two cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19

Ghana’s health service has announced on Wednesday that two new cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant has been detected in the West African country.

Speaking at the launch of the Vaccination Month in Accra, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye said the two cases came from Nigeria and South Africa.

“The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 disease has been found at the Kotoka International Airport. The good thing is that in the community test done so far, we have not seen any Omicron within the community of Ghana, but the danger is that if someone has the Omicron, and it is incubating, it will not be found at the airport.

“The cases have come mainly from Nigeria and South Africa. The very first case that was detected during our sequencing was on the 21 November,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has detected the Omicron variant in travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.

In a press release, the body warns that it is a matter of “when, not if” more cases are identified.

The organisation says its research suggests that given the likely high transmissibility of the variant, it is imperative to introduce measures to curb community transmission like “increased COVID-19 testing”.

Earlier this week, the government of Canada said that it had discovered two cases of the variant from two passengers from Nigeria.
However, the Nigerian health authorities said that it was investigating the issue to get more details.

Canada has now added Nigeria to the list of countries where travellers are barred from entering into its territory, following the discovery.

Omicron has been rated by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern”.

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