The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research has reported the detection of 34 imported cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 from 120 samples of returning visitors.
The imported cases were discovered in samples collected between November 21 and 25, 2021, from travelers returning to Ghana from three countries, according to Noguchi in a tweet on December 1, 2021.
“The Omicron variant was detected in 28 percent (34 out of 120) of returning traveller samples sequenced (collected from November 21-25),” according to the tweet.
The Institute also urged the general public to continue following the COVID-19 prevention protocols.
“These are the first cases of the variant that have been imported into Ghana, and we are closely monitoring its potential spread in the local population. We urge the general public to continue following COVID-19 prevention protocols “.
Noguchi’s update came just hours after Ghana’s Health Service reported the country’s first cases of the new variant.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, announced this Wednesday in Accra that the first case was discovered through sequencing on Sunday, November 21, 2021, in a Nigerian traveller. Another case was reported by a South African traveller.
Omicron poses a “high infection risk,” according to the World Health Organization.