Dr Simon Gbene, the Western Regional Director of the Veterinary Service, has disclosed the new COVID-19 variant in the Western Region is transmitted predominantly through the eyes.
The medical officer indicated that it is not enough for one to wear a face mask to protect himself or herself against the new COVID-19 variant but, must ensure everyone they come in contact with are doing same.
He said the genetic sequence on some samples had proven that the new variant was present in the Western region and urged residents to be cautious.
“One thing I have seen about the variant is that it can be transmitted through the eyes, the mouth and the nose. Now, we have to protect our eyes too”, Dr. Gbene said in an interview with Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show aired on e.TV Ghana and Happy 98.9 FM.
The doctor argued that with this new mode of transmission also comes the severity of infections. He indicated that people infected by the new variant suffer extra symptoms. “The symptoms are just like malaria and the only difference here is that you suffer the loss of smell and this new variant is more infectious than what we know”.
Advising the public on ways to avoid contracting the new variant, Dr. Gbene noted, “The only way you can protect your eyes is by respecting the social distancing policy. With this new variant, we need to protect our eyes. If someone has the virus and he speaks to you without the mask on and particles of saliva lands on your eyes, you will be infected.
“You need to protect your eyes and you need to be very careful where you go, especially if those you’re meeting with are not wearing face masks”, he reiterated.
A new variant of the novel coronavirus has been detected within the country.
“Recent genomic sequencing undertaken by our scientists have established that some arriving passengers tested positive for new variants of COVID-19,” he said.
A myriad of strains has, over the past few weeks, been detected in many countries triggering concerns about the propensity of the newly developed vaccines to aid in the combatting the impact of the pandemic.