The Ghana Health Service (GHS) Sunday announced the record of 34 active cases of the Delta Variant of the COVID-19 in some communities in Ghana, including some students of Achimota School, who tested positive.
Health experts say the Delta Variant, which originated from India, has a higher transmission rate and spreads faster than other COVID-19 strains.
It has been found in communities in the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions.
It is currently found in 98 countries worldwide.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of GHS, addressing the media in Accra, said the University of Health and Allied Sciences, in July this year, conducted genome sequencing of samples of COVID-19 and detected that Ghana had different variants of the disease.
There are 576 cases of COVID-19 of different variants in the country, including Alpha (United Kingdom) – 429, Beta (South Africa) – 13, Gamma from Brazil – 1, and Delta Variant from India – 34.
Touching the COVID-19 spread in Achimota School, Dr Kuma-Aboagye said 843 students and staff had been tested with 135 testing positive.
He said the infected students had been quarantined, with more tests ongoing including some day students.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the GHS had been able to contain the spread of the infectious virus on the Achimota campus, for now, adding that the adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols on the campus was very low.
He explained that the Delta Variant was detected in the Ghanaian community on July 1, 2021, but it was first recorded in Ghana in April 2021 at the Kotoka International Airport.
By June 22, 2021, six cases had been recorded and they were all detected at the port of entry when the GHS officially announced the presence of the variant in Ghana.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye indicated that it thus activated the Public Health Emergency Rapid Response Teams of the Greater Accra Region and the Okaikoi North Municipality of the GHS.
He said by July 3, 2021, a total of 843 students and staff were sampled; 348 of them were boarders and 459 day students, with 36 teaching staff.
The results of 550 samples are ready and 135 have tested positive with 293 results pending. The 293 samples were collected on July 3, 2021.
All 135 cases at the time of diagnosis were either asymptomatic or had mild to moderate illness.
The GHS said one staff was among those affected and approximately two-thirds of the cases – 89 – had recovered with 46 active cases.
Health experts say the Delta Variant is more transmissible than other variants and though the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are effective against it, the Pfizer vaccine has a higher efficiency rate – 88 per cent – against the variant.
The Pfizer vaccine is more effective on the variant in terms of levels of protection from hospitalisation, infection and death.
According to the World Health Organisation, all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, change over time.