To assess dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 in Greater Accra Region, Ghana, we analyzed SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences from persons in the community and returning from international travel. The Accra Metropolitan District was a major origin of virus spread to other districts and should be a primary focus for interventions against future infectious disease outbreaks.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Ghana/epidemiology , Biological Evolution , Disease Outbreaks
Background: The spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) by asymptomatic individuals has been reported since the early stages of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in various parts of the world. However, there are limited data regarding SARS-CoV-2 among asymptomatic individuals in Ghana. The aim of the study was to use test data of prospective travelers from Ghana as a proxy to estimate the contribution of asymptomatic cases to the spread of COVID-19. Methods: The study analyzed the SARS-CoV-2 PCR test data of clients whose purpose for testing was classified as "Travel" at the COVID-19 walk-in test center of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) from July 2020 to July 2021. These individuals requesting tests for travel generally had no clinical symptoms of COVID-19 at the time of testing. Data were processed and analyzed using Microsoft Excel office 16 and STATA version 16. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize data on test and demographic characteristics. Results: Out of 42,997 samples tested at the center within that period, 28,384 (66.0%) were classified as "Travel" tests. Of these, 1,900 (6.7%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. The majority (64.8%) of the "Travel" tests were requested by men. The men recorded a SARS-CoV-2 positivity of 6.9% compared to the 6.4% observed among women. Test requests for SARS-CoV-2 were received from all regions of Ghana, with a majority (83.3%) received from the Greater Accra Region. Although the Eastern region recorded the highest SARS-CoV-2 positivity rate of 8.35%, the Greater Accra region contributed 81% to the total number of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases detected within the period of study. Conclusion: Our study found substantial SARS-CoV-2 positivity among asymptomatic individuals who, without the requirement for a negative SARS-CoV-2 result for travel, would have no reason to test. These asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals could have traveled to other countries and unintentionally spread the virus. Our findings call for enhanced tracing and testing of asymptomatic contacts of individuals who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Male , Humans , Female , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ghana/epidemiology , Prospective Studies
In late 2019, a novel coronavirus, the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak was identified in Wuhan, China and later spread to every corner of the globe. Whilst the number of infection-induced deaths in Ghana, West Africa are minimal when compared with the rest of the world, the impact on the local health service is still significant. Compartmental models are a useful framework for investigating transmission of diseases in societies. To understand how the infection will spread and how to limit the outbreak. We have developed a modified SEIR compartmental model with nine compartments (CoVCom9) to describe the dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in Ghana. We have carried out a detailed mathematical analysis of the CoVCom9, including the derivation of the basic reproduction number, R 0 . In particular, we have shown that the disease-free equilibrium is globally asymptotically stable when R 0 < 1 via a candidate Lyapunov function. Using the SARS-CoV-2 reported data for confirmed-positive cases and deaths from March 13 to August 10, 2020, we have parametrised the CoVCom9 model. The results of this fit show good agreement with data. We used Latin hypercube sampling-rank correlation coefficient (LHS-PRCC) to investigate the uncertainty and sensitivity of R 0 since the results derived are significant in controlling the spread of SARS-CoV-2. We estimate that over this five month period, the basic reproduction number is given by R 0 = 3 . 110 , with the 95% confidence interval being 2 . 042 ≤ R 0 ≤ 3 . 240 , and the mean value being R 0 = 2 . 623 . Of the 32 parameters in the model, we find that just six have a significant influence on R 0 , these include the rate of testing, where an increasing testing rate contributes to the reduction of R 0 .