Covid-19: Ghana records first cases of Omicron variant

Wednesday December 01 2021
Kotoka International Airport in Ghana

Kotoka International Airport in Ghana. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


Ghana has recorded its first known cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The variant was detected in passengers who arrived at Kotoka International Airport in Accra.

However, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director-General of the country's Health Service, noted that the variant is not yet spreading within the community.

Omicron was first detected by South African scientists and made public last week.

The African Union and World Health Organization have cautioned countries across against imposing quick travel bans on travellers in the wake of a new variant.

Dr John Nkengasong, the Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) said the history of the pandemic had indicated travel bans served little purpose in managing the spread of the virus.


“Africa CDC strongly discourages the imposition of travel ban for people originating from countries that have reported this variant. In fact, over the duration of this pandemic, we have observed that imposing bans on travellers from countries where a new variant is reported has not yielded a meaningful outcome,” Nkengasong said in a statement.

However, Rwanda has gone ahead to temporarily ban Southern Africa flights.

Hours after its detection, Western countries including UK, Germany and the US imposed flight bans on South Africa and six of its neighbours where the variant had been detected. Canada, Morocco, Russia and several others also imposed bans on the southern African countries.

Additional reporting by Aggrey Mutambo