Ghana says 34 samples from returning travellers test positive for Omicron

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A truck loader wear a face mask as he sits on the top of the truck at the Nima market, as Ghana lifts partial lockdown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Accra, Ghana April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Kokoroko

ACCRA, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Ghana detected the Omicron coronavirus variant in 34 samples from travellers who returned to the country from Nov. 21-25, according to data from the state institute responsible for coronavirus testing.

The health ministry on Wednesday announced it had detected the country's first imported cases of the variant, but did not say how many cases had been identified. read more

A graphic released by the Noguchi research institute on Thursday said it had checked 120 samples from returning travellers and found 34 that were positive for the variant. It gave no further details about the travellers that were tested.

"These are the first imported cases of the variant in Ghana and we are closely monitoring its potential spread in the community," the institute said in the data graphic, which was shared by its spokesperson.

The new variant, which has caused global fears of a surge in infections, was first detected in southern Africa and is fast overtaking Delta to become the dominant variant in South Africa, where case numbers are rising dramatically. read more

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Reporting by Christian Akorlie Writing by Alessandra Prentice Editing by Peter Graff

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