Covid-19: BA4, BA5 variant more infectious – WACCBIP Director

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Covid-19: BA4, BA5 variant more infectious – WACCBIP Director

The Director of the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), has disclosed that the new omicron Covid-19 variant, BA4 and BA5 are more infectious as compared to the previous variants BA1 and BA2.

Professor Gordon Awandare said that the BA4 and BA5 variants are the sub-variants of the Omicron variant.

Speaking in an interview on JoyFM’s NewsNight on Monday, Professor Awandare noted that the BA4 variant has firmly established itself in the country thus causing the 5th wave.

His assertion comes after the Ghana Health Service (GHS) reported three Covid-19 related deaths after the country began recording new cases over the past weeks.

The three deaths were recorded between June 14 to June 16. GHS has also reported 243 new cases with 14 of the cases being severe and two people in critical condition.

Prof Awandare explained that the driving factor of the 5th wave is because majority of citizens have been exposed to the virus.

“Our antibodies testing data shows that more than 80 percent of us have been exposed to Covid already but because these are new variants which we haven’t seen before, that previous exposure to the other variant is not able to protect us from this one. That is why these ones are now predominating and basically taking over transmission,” he said.

According to him, to curb the situation, we need to vaccinate, adding that vaccination according to data “shows that if you have previous exposure to the other variant and you are vaccinated, you have a better chance against this variant than not being vaccinated.”

Also, the Ghana Health Service has advised the public to go back to wearing face masks.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, the Director-General, Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye recommended the wearing of face masks in schools, churches and other enclosed areas as means to curtail the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital is on high alert for Covid-19 cases as 23 of its staff have contracted the virus.

A notice issued by the Management of the facility to employees said about 70 percent of the infections were hospital-acquired and 30 percent community-based transmission.

Five doctors, 13 nurses and five non-clinical staff have been infected by the virus. Out of the number, 20 of the staff members have been fully vaccinated while three are unvaccinated.

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