The most contagious Covid-19 variant, originating from India, has been recorded in Ghana.
Head of the West Africa Center for Cell Biology and Infectious Pathogens, WACCBIP, of the University of Ghana, Professor Gordon Awendare confirmed that the Indian variant, also known as the Delta variant, is one of the forty-five (45) variants which are currently in Ghana.
The Indian strain has caused huge spikes in India, and a serious increase in cases in the UK despite the fact that large sections of the population in those countries are vaccinated.
“Overall we have about 45 or 46 different variants. The trend shows that all these normally come from travellers. Now that the Delta (Indian Variant) is taking over, it’s just a matter of time before it will come here in large quantities. We have a few here but it’s going to increase,” Professor Awendare explained to Daniel Dadzie on JoyPrime’s Prime Morning.
Professor Awendare called on the government to immediately enforce the Covid-19 preventive protocols to stem a potential spread of this deadly variant.
In addition, he added that the controls at the Airport must be tightened to stop more importation of the variant.
Professor Awendare revealed that the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are not effective against the Indian variant.
“Now we have to be looking at the right vaccines. All this while, we’ve been fixed on AstraZeneca and Sputnik V but we have to shift towards more of Pfizer and others which have a better chance of protecting against this variant. Because the future is, we are going towards these aggressive variants”, he stressed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified this coronavirus variant, first found in India last year, as a “variant of global concern”.
It said preliminary studies showed that this specific mutation spreads more easily than other variants.
A mutation is elevated from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern” (VOC) when it shows evidence of fulfilling at least one of several criteria, including easy transmission, more severe illness, reduced neutralisation by antibodies or reduced effectiveness of treatment and vaccines according to the global health body.