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COVID-19: Achimota SHS Ghana’s Delta variant hotspot; 135 students, staff down

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Some 135 students and staff of Achimota Senior High School in Accra have tested positive for COVID-19.

Some of them are Delta variant cases, the Ghana Health Services announced at a press conference on Sunday, 4 July 2021.

Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, told journalists that samples were taken from 843 students (348 boarders and 459 day students) and 36 teaching and non-teaching staff as of 3 July 3, 2021. 

One hundred thirty-five of the 550 results released so far, tested positive.

The results of 293 samples of day students are yet to come in.

The testing began after three students went to the school’s sickbay with influenza-like symptoms, Dr Kuma-Aboaye said.

They tested positive, were isolated and their contacts placed under mandatory quarantine.

Subsequently, several other students started exhibiting symptoms that triggered mass tracing and testing on campus.

As far as the general COVID-19 situation in schools is concerned, a total of 2,000 students in 351 schools at all levels have contracted the virus, so far.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said: “We had a significant number of the initial testing we did at Achimota School as Delta variant”.

“So, once we have that we assume that because it is the source that was spread around, the majority of the variants there will be the Delta variant”.

“That is why we are doing the strategic testing of day students so that it doesn’t spill into the community”, he said.

The Ministry of Information, on Friday, 2 June 2021, announced that the Delta variant had been found in a community within the country. 

“At 10:00hours on Friday, 2 July 2021, the Covid-19 task force was advised by the Ghana Health Service that the Delta variant of the SARS-Cov-2 virus has been recorded within a community (ie non-arriving passengers) in the latest round of genomic sequencing”, the Ministry posted on its Facebook page. 

It said the “relevant agencies are taking the necessary steps to ensure that spread is contained”. 

The positive persons, it noted, “are in good health”. 

“The task force will provide further details at 13:00hours on Sunday, 4 July 2021”, the ministry promised. 

It urged the general public to “adhere strictly to the COVID preventive etiquette while going about permitted activities”.

About two weeks ago, six Delta variants of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19 virus) were detected from all the samples taken between April and June 2021 at the ports of entry, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) disclosed.

A statement signed by the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, on Tuesday, 22 June 2021, however, said at the time that “no Delta variant has been detected from samples taken from cases in the community”.

According to the statement, the AstraZeneca and Sputnik V vaccines are effective against the deadly Indian strain of the Coronavirus detected, known as the Delta variant in Ghana recently.

In reaction to an online publication discrediting the potency of vaccines against the Delta variant of the virus, detected at the Kotoka International Airport, the statement noted that “reports that Sputnik-V and AstraZeneca vaccines are not effective against the Delta strain of SARS-Cov-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) are untrue”.

The statement revealed that according to data from the Public Health England (PHE), “two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine are highly effective against hospitalisation due to the Delta variant and showed no deaths among those vaccinated.”

“A study conducted by Gamaleya Center suggests that Sputnik-V is more efficient against the Delta variant of
coronavirus, first detected in India, compared to other COVID-19 vaccines,” the statement said.

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