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Achimota Schools records 46 COVID-19 cases, dangerous Delta variant inclusive

Here Are 10 Jargons That Only Achimotans Understand - Kuulpeeps - Ghana  Campus News and Lifestyle Site by Students

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed the spread of the ‘Delta’ variant of the Coronavirus disease at the Achimota School in Accra.

A total of 135 students and teachers initially tested positive for the coronavirus disease on campus with various variants.

But it is 46 who are currently with active cases of the disease on campus as of Sunday, July 4, 2021.

The active cases on the campus of Achimota is a combination of different variants but the Delta variant is the dominant one.

The Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye who confirmed the presence of the Delta variant at Achimota did not disclose the number of the Delta variant cases at Achimota except to say that a “significant” number of the cases were the Delta variant.

He said the infected students have been quarantined.

Tests are still ongoing on the campus, including some of the students who are day students.

34 Delta variant cases in Ghana

With respect to the Delta variant, the community spread in Ghana was detected on July 1, 2021 and Dr Kuma Aboagye said a total of 34 cases of the variant has since been detected in Ghana.

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India and easily transmissible was first recorded in Ghana in April 2021 but that was at the port of entry at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).

By June 22, 2021, when the GHS officially announced the presence of the variant in Ghana, it said it was six cases that had been recorded and they were all detected at the port of entry. No community spread had been detected as of then.

The Director General of the GHS, Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye addressing a press briefing in Accra on Sunday [July 4, 2021] said the Achimota cases have been contained on the campus as of now, even though more people were still being tested.

But he added that it was detected that the adherence of the protocols on the campus of Achimota School was very low.

How the Achimota School situation was detected

Between June 14 and 16, 2021, three students of Achimota School presented to the sickbay of the school with Influenza like symptoms.

All three were investigated for COVID-19 in line with laid down protocols and they all tested positive.

This, according to Dr Kuma Aboagye prompted the activation of the Public Health Emergency Rapid Response Teams (PHERRT) of the Greater Accra Region and the Okaikoi North Municipal of the GHS.

The three students were isolated and other symptomatic students and contacts were identified, listed and also tested for COVID-19.

They were all placed in mandatory quarantine on campus.

Achimota situation as of July 3, 2021

By July 3, 2021, a total of 843 students and staff had been sampled.

348 of them are boarding students, 459 day students and 36 teaching staff.

The results of 550 samples are ready and 135 have tested positive with 293 results still pending.

The 293 pending samples were collected on July 3, 2021.

Status of cases at Achimota

All the 135 cases at the time of diagnosis were either asymptomatic or mild to moderate illness, Dr Aboagye said.

The GHS says one staff is among those affected and approximately two thirds of the cases – 89 – have recovered with 46 current active cases.

Delta more transmissible 

What is different in the genetic make up is that the Delta variant is more transmissible than the original variant.

It means that if the original COVID infected let’s say 10 people for each infected person, this one will infect maybe 17 or 18 people.

Biomedical scientists have explained that if you look at the data from all the different countries, it is the Pfizer vaccine that is able to have a more reliable effect on the newer variants in terms of all levels of protection – from hospitalisation, from death, from infection.

The Pfizer vaccine seems to be doing better with these new variant in those different levels of protection, according to the scientists.

The other vaccines give assurance of protection against hospitalisation, from death, severe disease and infection and that the different vaccines provides different levels of protection.

Dr Kuma Aboagye addressing the press briefing on Sunday said 

Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants

According to the WHO, all viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, change over time.

Most changes have little to no impact on the virus’ properties.

However, some changes may affect the virus’s properties, such as how easily it spreads, the associated disease severity, or the performance of vaccines, therapeutic medicines, diagnostic tools, or other public health and social measures. 

WHO, in collaboration with partners, expert networks, national authorities, institutions and researchers have been monitoring and assessing the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 since January 2020.

During late 2020, the emergence of variants that posed an increased risk to global public health prompted the characterisation of specific Variants of Interest (VOIs) and Variants of Concern (VOCs), in order to prioritise global monitoring and research, and ultimately to inform the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO and its international networks of experts are monitoring changes to the virus so that if significant mutations are identified, countries and the public can be informed about any changes needed to react to the variant, and prevent its spread.

Globally, systems have been established and are being strengthened to detect “signals” of potential VOIs or VOCs and assess these based on the risk posed to global public health. 

SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest, updated 15 June 2021 by WHO

Variants of Concern

  • Alpha (United Kingdom, Sep-2020)
  • Beta (South Africa, May-2020)
  • Gamma (Brazil,  Nov-2020)
  • Delta (India, Oct-2020)

Variants of Interest

  • Epsilon (United States of America, Mar-2020)
  • Zeta (Brazil, Apr-2020)
  • Eta (Multiple countries, Dec-2020) 
  • Theta (Philippines, Jan-2021) 
  • Iota ( United States of America, Nov-2020)
  • Kappa (India, Oct-2020) 
  • Lambda (Peru, Aug-2020)

Read also: COVID-19 strain: India’s ‘Delta’ of Coronavirus shows up in Ghana

Overview of Ghana situation

The Ghana Health Service says there is a gradual increase in Active cases over the past three weeks.

The average daily case count is about 80 cases with pockets of outbreaks reported in Ashanti, Ahafo and Greater Accra including Achimota School and workplace.

Vaccination

A total of 1,261,677 total doses have been administered as of June 30, 2021.

864,918 have had first dose of vaccination while 396, 759 are fully vaccinated.

The adherence to protocols is generally low.

Ghana Epidemiological situation

Dr Aboagye said as of July 1, 2021 total cases recorded were 96,402, 93,987 recoveries, 1,297,568 tests done and 1619.

COVID-19 in schools

A total of 351 schools have recorded cases of COVID-19. The cumulative total cases stands at 2217. 96.8 percent of cases have recovered.

There are currently 48 active cases among students from two regions (Greater Accra – 46, Eastern – 2).

Volta Region has recorded the highest number of cases (512). The North East Region is the only region with no cases recorded in schools.

Summary of Genomic Sequencing Results

Alpha – 429

Beta – 13

Gamma – 1

Delta – 34

VOI – 209

Others – 576

Total – 1212

Source:Graphiconline

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Education

Another UTAG strike imminent; Finance Minister to blame

Ken Ofori-Atta is the Minister of Finance

The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) is likely to lift the suspension on its recent strike, 3news.com has gathered.

According to reports, there has not been any headway after a one-month negotiation period was agreed upon by parties.

3news.com gathers the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, fails to attend meetings as he constantly delegates other officials to represent him.

This is said to have angered leadership of the university teachers as they claim the Minister is not according them the deserved respect.

They are, therefore, lacing their boots for a long strike.

An Open Letter written by recently-elected Secretary, Professor Ransford Yaw Gyampo, to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and Vice President Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia on Friday suggested that “no one can contain the anger of University Teachers should they be allowed to strike again, after the expiration of the one month negotiation period”.

“A simple survey on the various campuses would give a sense of how bitter and angry they are, for the disrespectful manner in which they have been treated over the years.”

Most of the tertiary institutions are wrapping up end-of-semester examinations for regular students for the 2020/2021 academic year but a strike will affect research work, project work as well as distance education programmes.

It could also lead to delay in re-opening for the next academic year.

Source :3 News

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Education

News we’re accepting applications for local Postgraduate Scholarship false-GETFUND

The Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), says it is not true it is accepting any applications for Postgraduate local scholarships (Masters and Ph.D. Programmes) for the 2021/2022 Academic year.

A statement issued by the GETFund management on Friday, September 17, said there is false information to the contrary circulating on social media.

“We wish to notify the General Public that, GETFund has not commenced Postgraduate local scholarships (Masters and Ph.D. Programs) applications for the 2021/2022 academic year”, it said, and urged the General Public to “discard same as false and treat such as a hoax.”

“GETFund shall not be held liable to any person who falls victim to such cruel falsehood.”

Source : Graphiconline

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Education

Accra :Court sentences JHS student for beating his teacher

An Accra Juvenile Court has sentenced a final year student of the Nungua Kroma Two Junior High School, who assaulted a teacher for punishing him, to a fine of GH¢ 1,800.

The student, in default, would serve three months jail term.

He had denied conspiring with 15 other men to assault the teacher for punishing him for his failure to do his homework, but the Court, at the end of trial, found him guilty.

The Prosecution called five witnesses to make the case.

It earlier told the Court that the convict (name withheld) had refused to do his homework and after he was punished, he dashed home to call 15 other young men, who allegedly stormed the school in a Sprinter bus and attacked the teacher, inflicting wounds on his face.

The teacher, Mr Moses Onyameasem, was rescued by his colleagues and rushed to the LEKMA Hospital, Accra, where he was treated and discharged.

After the attack, the mother of the pupil was also alleged to have gone to the School and verbally assaulted the teacher, prosecution said, adding that the development led to the closure of the School.

On Monday, February 22, 2021, at about 1215 hours, the teacher, accompanied by Mr Roger Asempa, the Head Teacher, went to the Police Station to report the assault.

The teacher reported that earlier at about 1200 hours, a student in his class and 15 other young men from the Nungua Town came to the School in a bus to physically assault him.

Prosecution said a medical form was issued to the complainant to seek medical attention, whilst a joint stakeholder meeting was held over the incident.
Source :GNA

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