Omicron variant

Ghanaian scientists stated on Wednesday that they had discovered examples of the omicron variant in travellers who arrived 10 days earlier.

The cases had mostly come from Nigeria and South Africa, said Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of Ghana’s Health Service, at a launch ceremony for “COVID-19 immunisation month.”

They were discovered when travellers arriving at Ghana’s Kokota International Airport were tested.

Weekly tests of 200 people arriving at the airport revealed that 28 percent of those travelling from Nigeria and South Africa had the variation, according to virologist William Ampofo’s reports.

Francis Chisaka Kasolo, a World Health Organization official in attendance at the inaugural event, emphasised the necessity of vaccination.

“The only way to keep this virus from evolving is to have as many people vaccinated as possible and to adhere to public health measures,” he added.

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Ghana’s Health Minister responded by announcing plans to bring mobile vaccination units to a variety of locations, including churches and mosques, and confirming that immunizations would be offered to anybody over the age of 15.

Meanwhile, public employees in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, queued to obtain their vaccine on Wednesday after the government declared it essential to be vaccinated or submit a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous 72 hours in order to access government facilities for work.

Security officials sent away federal workers without a vaccination card or a negative PCR test at various workplaces in the nation’s capital, causing chaos.

The law, which went into force on Wednesday, is part of a nationwide drive to improve vaccination rates in the wake of worries about the new omicron type.

Concerns about the variation were expressed by civil employees speaking to the Associated Press.

Dung Pam, a 34-year-old labourer, expressed his concern since experts had not determined the severity of the mutation.

“No one knows how much worse this will make things,” he remarked.

Nigeria’s national public health institution announced Wednesday that it has discovered its first incidence of the omicron coronavirus variation in passengers who arrived from South Africa in the last week, revising an earlier assertion that the variant was found in samples obtained in October.

In a second announcement, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control clarified that the delta variation was discovered in the October samples, not the omicron form as previously indicated.

The omicron variety was initially discovered in three tourists who arrived in the nation during the last week, according to the report.

Nigeria is the first West African country to record the omicron variation since it was discovered and reported by scientists in southern Africa, and it joins a list of over 20 countries where the variant has been found, prompting travel prohibitions throughout the world.

Much about the new variation is unclear, including if it is more infectious, as some health officials fear, whether it causes individuals to get more gravely ill, and whether it may prevent the vaccination.


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