A widely circulated message on WhatsApp is claiming that the Delta COVID-19 variant also known as or B.1.617.2 has been detected in Ghana.
The message which has been tagged by WhatsApp as “forwarded many times,” partly said: “confirmation this morning that the Delta variant of the (#SARSCoV2) virus has been detected in Ghana,” and further names Africa’s Cancer Research Company as the source of the claim.
Meanwhile, a leading online news platform in Ghana, myjoyonline.com has also published an article with the headline “Covid-19: Deadly Indian strain detected in Ghana – Sputnik V, AstraZeneca vaccines not effective against it,” which has given currency to the claim and generated lots of buzz on social media.
What do we know so far?
Delta variant in Ghana?
Ghana has detected six Delta variants of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) from all samples taken between April and June 2021 at the ports of entry.
“No Delta variant has been detected from samples taken from cases at in the community”, a statement from the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service(GHS) further clarified.
RE: Covid-19: Deadly Indian strain detected in Ghana; Sputnik V, AstraZeneca vaccines not effective against it. pic.twitter.com/intjhRNELC
— Ghana Health Service Official (@_GHSofficial) June 22, 2021
The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bokoe in a TV interview on JoyNews reiterated that: “the delta that we are talking about is at the airport. For now, we don’t have evidence of delta in the community.”
“What we have been doing is that we assume that persons, who are coming from those areas, would be having a different strain. So we now assume that their contacts, who related at the airport, could be harbouring the virus. So we trace them up to test them and we didn’t get any positive case,” he emphasized.
The highly contagious Covid-19 variant is becoming the dominant strain of the disease worldwide, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan has said.
The variant has spread to more than 80 countries and it continues to mutate as it spreads across the globe. The Delta variant was first detected in India in late 2020, where it is thought to have contributed to the extremely high number of cases during the country’s second wave of COVID-19.
The symptoms caused by the delta variant differ from the ancestral virus and other mutations with some victims reporting headaches, sore throats, runny noses, fever and coughing, data from the UK’s ZOE COVID Symptom Study app has shown.
By Gifty Tracy Aminu