Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has commended the University of Ghana for being able to find the sequenced genomes of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Bawumia in a post on Facebook said the discovery is a major contributrion towards the fight against COVID-19 in Ghana.
Scientists at the University of Ghana have obtained critical data about the genetic composition of the COVID-19 strains in Ghana.
According to a statement issued by the school, the data was obtained from viral strains in 15 of the confirmed cases in the country and would help scientists gain a comprehensive understanding of the variations of the virus that are present in the country.
The statement noted that the feat was attained by scientists at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR – College of Health Sciences) and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP – College of Basic and Applied Sciences) at the University.
“The data tells us that, while there were some differences between the strains from the various countries, all the 15 genomes generally resembled (with >92% similarity) the reference strain that was isolated in the Wuhan Province of China, where the outbreak began,” the statement attributed to him.
“It is natural that pathogens will evolve as they encounter different environmental challenges, so we will need to continue monitoring to keep track with these changes and determine how they impact on the efficacy of potential drugs or vaccines that are being developed,” the statement added.
Reacting to it, the Vice President said: ”Our Ghanaian scientists at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP) at the University of Ghana have successfully found the sequenced genomes of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the global COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a major contribution to science in the fight against COVID-19 and something for which all Ghanaians should be proud of.
We have the capability and our research institutions do make significant contributions to science. We can do it if we put our minds to it!
I am proud of our scientists!”