Ghana has detected its first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye who announced this today in Accra said the first case was discovered on Sunday, November 21, 2021, in a Nigerian traveller through sequencing. Another case was recorded in a traveller from Zimbabwe.
"The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 disease has been found at the Kotoka International Airport," Dr Kuma-Aboagye said at an event organised today to announce the start of mass COVID-19 vaccinations in the country.
"The good thing is that in the community test done so far, we have not seen any Omicron within the community of Ghana, but the danger is that if someone has the Omicron, and it is incubating, it will not be found at the airport".
He added that so far, no case of the new Omicron variant has been recorded in the "community of Ghana".
Dr Kuma-Aboagye also assured that the country will strengthen its strategies at the airport to prevent the importation of the illness.
"For Christmas, we are going to ensure that to prevent importation, the strategies at the airport which have served us a lot will continue and be strengthened to ensure that people are tested before they leave and when they arrive to reduce the importation (of COVID-19)," he said.
"We are going to monitor all our ports of entry, we are increasing our surveillance across the country to ensure that cases are followed up. We are also going to identify countries of concern so that even when they arrive and are negative, we have a different protocol on how to observe them...".