COVID-19: Ghana records first two Omicron variant cases

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Dr Patrick Kuma-Adoagye, DG of GHS

Ghana has confirmed two cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, according to the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Patrick Kuma-Aboagye.

The confirmation comes barely a week after the GHS said the country was yet to record the Omicron variant.

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

“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 November,” he told the media.

Caution

In a related development, Dr Dacosta Aboagye, Director of Health Promotions at the Ghana Health Service, has cautioned that persons who would not have been vaccinated by December 31 would not be permitted to engage in any public activity.

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This will include going to work, except that the person can produce a negative PCR test result.

He therefore advised all Ghanaians to take advantage of the four-week ultimatum given by the Ghana Health Service to get vaccinated.

He said the President still chairs the COVID-19 Taskforce “and so we are working with them to make sure that we put in place all the legal framework to restrict people from public places if they are not vaccinated”.

He said that the launch of the national vaccination month on Tuesday, November 30, would afford people in the security services, government and health workers, commercial drivers and their mates, students and staff in secondary and tertiary institutions the opportunity to get vaccinated.

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Dr Aboagye told the media that there are enough vaccines for everyone in Ghana as the government has successfully procured 12.3 million doses.

He said about five million people had received the first dose while 1.3 million are fully vaccinated.

He said that the patronage in the COVID-19 vaccination had been good, but there must be a mandate to ensure the full commitment of every Ghanaian in order to attain herd immunity, which would ensure everyone in the country is protected.

“The patronage, based on the availability of the vaccines, was good. But the point is that we have received all vaccines, and this means that we also have to make sure that we set some mandates for the people to get vaccinated. We are all not safe until we are all vaccinated,” he said.

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Dr Aboagye said that the Ghana Health Service had decentralised its services through the regional and district health directorates to set up their own centres, and also take the vaccines to the people.

He said the vaccination teams had been going to churches, lorry parks, market places, restaurants, football and other sporting events.

Dr Aboagye said the Ghana Health Service is engaging the relevant stakeholders, including the Ghana Football Association and the tourism sector, to ensure that anybody who has not gone for their jabs to their events nor premises.

He said that the Public Services Commission and all government agencies, as well as traditional leaders, would be engaged to enforce the mandate to the letter, saying that Ghana Health Service would follow all legal remits within its purview.

 

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