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Health News Mon, 19 Jul 2021

43 coronavirus variants identified in Ghana

The West Africa Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) says there exists some 43 different variants of the Covid-19 in Ghana.

Data collected by the Centre indicate that out of the 43, not all of them have been classified to be extremely of concern to Ghana.

“The variants of concern and of interest in Ghana are the Alpha, Beta, Kappa, Eta and Delta. There are several of them but out of the 43, these are of major concern and that is why I am very worried. Because from the data that we have currently, from our sequencing we have currently, the Delta variant is picking up speed.”

Dominic S.Y. Amuzu, a Research Fellow at WACCBIP revealed on 3FM‘s 'Sunrise' morning show Monday, July 19.

According to Mr. Amuzu, funding for research work has become a major challenge in dealing with the new variants.

“As a scientist, you don’t know what is going on so you want to be careful and bring back all the protocols and stringent measures to bring it down and more importantly as we keep saying, you need to fund research.”

But WACCBIP said they have extreme challenges getting samples across the country due to lack of funding.

“There used to be 10 regions, now there are 16, we should be able to sample all these 16 regions and create a database. We are trying to do this on our website but without much funding. To bring more hands and expertise, you might not be able to do this quickly. It will take time,” he told host Alfred Ocansey.

Meanwhile, a major stakeholders’ conference scheduled to take place in Accra on Wednesday is expected to highlight these concerns in the research gap.

Speaking on the theme ‘Building Sustainable Research Capacity in Africa: Lessons Learnt from the Pandemic’, Dr. Gloria Amegatcher, who is also a Lecturer at the West Africa Centre for Cell Biology and Pathogens, said, “Research is really expensive so if we don’t invest we lose.

“Aside from the sequencing that we do, we are also looking at the exposure in the community and now with the variants that are in, there are asymptomatic people in the community….We are checking the level of antibodies they are producing and the host immune in response. All these will have to be studied in detail and we need money for that.”
Source: 3news.com
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