COVID-19: Gov't To Support Ghanaian Scientists To Develop Vaccines

The Government of Ghana is to provide support for Ghanaian scientists to develop vaccines to curb the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo subtly indicated this in his seventh nation address to update the Ghanaian citizenry on the COVID-19.

Speaking on Sunday, April 19, 2020, the President applauded scientists at the University of Ghana (UG) for successfully sequencing genomes of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic and obtaining important information about the genetic composition of viral strains.

The scientists, who work at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), under the College of Health Sciences, and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), College of Basic and Applied Sciences analyzed samples from selected cases and using advanced Next-Generation Sequencing methods were able to track and compare viral mutations.

The President expressed delight over the work of the scientists and hoped they come up with a vaccine.

''It is important to state, at the very onset, that scientists at the University of Ghana have successfully sequenced genomes of the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, obtaining important information about the genetic composition of viral strains in fifteen (15) of the confirmed cases in Ghana. This is a significant milestone in Ghana’s response to the pandemic, as it will strengthen surveillance for tracking mutations of the virus, and aid in the tracing of the sources of community infections in people with no known contact with confirmed cases. The Ghanaian scientific community is to be warmly applauded for this advance and contribution to global knowledge. Their work makes us proud to be Ghanaian, and, who knows, God may work through them to discover a vaccine. What a triumph that would be!''

COVID-19 Case Count

Ghana's COVID-19 case count has reached 1042 out of 68,591 samples tested. 99 persons have so far fully recovered and a majority of the people whose samples were collected tested negative.

''Since the first two (2) cases of infections were recorded on our shores, we have till date traced some 86000 contacts. Out of which, we have test results of 68,591 contacts. The overwhelming majority of these contacts have been established in the last weeks of the partial lockdown in Accra and Kumasi. Out of this number, 1042 persons, ie. 1.5% have been confirmed as positive with 67,549 ie. 98% testing negative. 99 persons have recovered and have been discharged and 930 persons who have been isolated are responding to treatment either in their homes or in treatment facilities'', President Akufo-Addo indicated.