Hon. Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, Ranking Member - Parliament Select Committee on Health

The Minority in Parliament says the government’s claim that the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 was detected in a Ghanaian community on July 2, 2021, is untrue.

According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Members of Parliament, the information they have gathered shows that the variant, which was first detected in India, has been within several Ghanaian communities across multiple regions for some months.

Addressing the press, the Minority spokesperson on Health, Kwabena Mintah Akandoh, said “instead of government sounding the alarm bells and encouraging Ghanaians to enhance their adherence to safety protocols, such as hand hygiene, the wearing of face masks and social distancing, government has at all times denied the existence of this virulent delta variant of the virus and even now, is trying to limit it to some parts of the Greater Accra Region.”

He stated that the Minority was not surprised to hear the government denying the existence of the Delta variant in Ghana, especially since routine surveillance has been curtailed, and enhanced contact tracing which the government promised had also ceased.

Mr Akandoh’s comment comes after the government revealed that the country has recorded its first-ever Delta Variant of the SARS-Cov-2 virus within its borders.

In a press release dated Friday, the Information Ministry said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) confirmed that the undisclosed community reported its cases at 10:00 am on Friday, July 2.

On Sunday, July 4, the Director-General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, revealed some 134 students and a staff of Achimota School have tested positive for Covid-19, with most cases said to be the new Delta Variant.

According to him, the first three cases were detected in some students between June 14 and 16, this year.

“All 135 cases at the time of diagnosis were either asymptomatic or had very mild to moderate illness. One member of staff is among those affected,” he said.

So far, 89 students have recovered while 46 of the remaining cases are still active, the GHS Director-General added.

However, the Minority believes that the country recording a Delta variant in the communities is an indictment on the effectiveness of measures that the government has instituted at the ports to protect citizens.

Mr Akandoh also added that it also raises questions on the accuracy of the information that government provides on the Covid-19 situation in the country.

“We will like to call on government to, as a matter of urgency, revert to its initial plan on testing by conducting routine surveillance tests, enhanced contact tracing tests and also effective testing of all incoming travellers not just at Kotoka but also across our seaports and land borders.

“Immediately put in measures and produce within a week an effective genomic sequencing policy for Covid-19 that is credible and effective enough to facilitate the early detection of all COVID-19 variants and the extent of their spread within Ghanaian communities,” he said.

The Minority is also demanding that government fast-tracks the procurement of vaccines through appropriate channels to secure vaccines for the remaining 19 million Ghanaians it promised to vaccinate by the end of 2021.