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Ghana records 2 new Covid-19 variants

Ghana records 2 new Covid-19 variants

Ghana records 2 new Covid-19 variants

A cancer research company, Yemaachi Biotech,

has identified two new variants of the Covid-19 virus

which they say is of much concern.

In a Twitter post, they revealed that the two variants,

B.1 and B.1.525 have been in circulation in

Ghana since March 2020.

The B.1 variant
has been linked to increased transmissibility.

According to Dr Yaw Bediako, an immunologist

and Research Fellow at the West Africa Centre for

Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens at the University of Ghana,

the B.1 variant has not shown any sign of being able

to breach the vaccine-induced immunity.

“Currently there is no evidence that this variant

is capable of evading vaccine-induced immunity.

We must keep vaccinating at a high rate to minimise

the likelihood that such a variant will emerge,” he said.

the B.1.525 variant

However, concerning the B.1.525 variant which

was first identified in Nigeria, data gathered at the

research center showed it is more prevalent in the

Northern and Western Regions of Ghana.

It added that the variant has mutations that may

allow the virus to partly evade the immune system.

Explaining further, Public Health Expert and
Adjunct Professor at the New York University,

Nana Kofi Quakyi, said “the implication here is that

if you previously had Covid-19, the variant may be

able to get around the antibodies your body produced

in response to the infection. So you can get reinfected.

We don’t yet have data on how this particular

variant responds to the different vaccines.”

Prof. Quakyi stated that the identification

of these new variants was “a reminder of the

critical importance of broad, regular genomic

surveillance for SARSCoV2 variants in Covid-19 patients.”

He, thus, called on the government to invest more money

towards that effort to “expand its scope and frequency

because the information it provides is so important for

the vaccine drive.”

He added: “We really need to double down on infection control,

especially enforcement of limits on social gatherings!”

and called for a media briefing on the new variants soon.

“Those briefings are a core part of risk communication,

and they should be scheduled/frequent.

Detection of new variants should be an obvious

prompt to hold one,” he said in a Twitter post.

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