Achimota School records 135 COVID-19 cases, some caused by Delta variant
The Ghana Health Service (GHS) says Achimota Senior High School has recorded 135 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Saturday, July 3.
It said some of the infections were caused by the Delta strain.
The earliest documented COVID-19 case caused by the delta variant (B.1.617.2) was first found in the Indian State of Maharashtra in October 2020 and has since spread widely throughout India and across the world.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, at a media briefing in Accra, on Sunday, said the cases were detected after 843 students and staff of the School were sampled and tested.
They included 348 boarding students, 459 day students and 36 teaching and non-teaching staff, he said.
The Director-General said 550 results of the test conducted were available with 293 pending.
He said all 135 cases were either asymptomatic or had mild to moderate illness at the time of diagnosis.
“As of today, Sunday, July 4, 89 of those infected at the School have recovered with 46 still active and undergoing treatment,” he said.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said as a measure to avert the further spread of the virus, the GHS had begun education on all COVID-19 infections and preventive protocols at the School.
He said the Service would also review cases daily and discharge eligible students and staff on isolation, based on GHS discharge policy.
“Together with the Ghana Education Service, there will be enforcement of Infection Prevention and Control protocols on campus as well as strategic testing of all the day students to identify and contain further community spread,” Dr Kuma-Aboagye said.
He said the Alpha strain had been identified as the dominant strain in Ghana out of a total of 1,212 genomic sequence of COVID-19 samples done since July 2020.
The Delta strain was first detected in Ghana in April 2021, among international arrivals at the Kotoka International Airport, and that the strain was detected in the community in July, he said.
He expressed worry over the non-adherence to COVID-19 protocols, saying; “The confirmation of the delta variant in the community can cause an increase in infections.”
Dr Kuma-Aboagye stressed the need to enforce existing protocols on COVID-19 and assured of access to vaccines for the general population.
He urged the public to mask up, observe social distancing and wash hands regularly with soap under running water.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) labelled the Delta strain a “variant of concern” (VOC) on May 11.
The variant is now present in about 80 countries, including Ghana, and it is the most transmissible coronavirus strain.
Symptoms of the Delta strain identified so far include headache, sore throat, runny nose and fever.
More “traditional” COVID-19 symptoms such as a cough and loss of smell is said to be much rarer now with younger people experiencing more of a bad cold.
The WHO has, however, warned that the Delta variant is highly contagious and the fastest coronavirus strain that will ‘pick off’ the most vulnerable people in places with low vaccination rates.