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Ramp up of the vaccination exercises in Ghana critical to contain Omicron variant – Virologist


A Virologist with the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine, Dr. Michael Owusu has said that the Omicron variant of Covid-19 could penetrate a population to cause a massive wave, regardless of a country’s closure of its land or air borders.

“No country can stop a new variant from penetrating.  You can only prevent as many people as possible from entering the country, he said. 

Dr. Owusu is worried the country could record cases of the new variant as the virus could infect non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated persons, especially in the youth. 

He is therefore calling for the ramp-up of the vaccination exercises and the strict adherence to the preventive protocols. 

The World Health Organization on November 26 declared the Omicron a variant of concern. 

The declaration was made following research that proved the new variant to have several mutations in its gene. 

Dr. Owusu told Luv FM that the new variant may not be deadlier depending on the characteristics of the population, as the African population proved somewhat defiant against the delta variant. 

“Africans seem to do well against these new variants. Africa did not suffer the dire consequence of the delta variant like those in India. 

“It can be predicted that the impact may not be that much compared to what other Europeans may face,” he said. 

“You cannot really tell whether it’s going to cause any severe disease or deaths like the delta variant. 

“But it has the potential of causing another massive wave across the world. Whether you protect your borders or not, this virus will enter through every part of the country and succeed in achieving its wave. 

“South Africans are recording 2,000 cases of the new variant daily. 

“About 65% of the cases are occurring among those who are not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, and it’s the young population that seem to be driving this Omicron variant. 

“The vaccination is the sure way to go. If you get vaccinated, you can prevent the virus from achieving its impact on the people,” he said. 

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