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Nigeria confirms three Omicron cases in passengers from South Africa

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Nigeria confirms three Omicron cases in passengers from South Africa

The Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country on Wednesday morning.

This is contained in a press release issued by the Director General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa and made available to the Nigerian News Agency , Abuja.

reports that the new variant has raised global concerns due to fears that it will spread faster and be resistant to vaccines.

Following its discovery in South Africa, Omicron was first detected in Europe in Belgium on November 27, 2021.

Other European countries, including Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, have confirmed cases. Australia also reported cases on November 28, 2021.

On November 27, 2021, the European Union decided to ban travel from seven southern African countries.

Other nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are taking similar steps. Israel late on Saturday went further, imposing a two-week travel band for all non-residents.

Similarly, the government of Canada had also stated that it discovered two cases of the two-passenger variant from Nigeria.

However, the Federal Government through the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, said it was investigating the issue to obtain more details.

Adetifa, however, said Wednesday morning that two cases of the variant were discovered by genomic sequencing.

Although he linked the cases with two passengers from South Africa.

“In accordance with the routine travel tests required for all international travelers, genomic sequencing at the NCDC through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.

“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two tests for travelers to Nigeria identified two cases of the Omicron variant among travelers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria in recent weeks.

“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria also identified the Omicron variant among samples collected in the final weeks of 2021,” he explained.

He added that all three patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.

Remember that genomic sequencing analyzes the virus sample taken from a diagnosed patient and compares it with other cases.

the virus reached Nigeria, the different changes or mutations of COVID-19 “define the branches of a tree.”

Every branch of COVID-19 that exists in Nigeria could be linked to South Africa, China, UK in the original instance, as well as through an outbreak in a foreign country.

The new variant comes at a time when Nigerians have defrauded non-pharmaceutical measures such as facial and nasal masking, hand washing and social distancing.

It also comes at a time when, apart from border surveillance, Nigeria appears to have developed cold feet in its responses in the country, such as surveillance and community testing.

With the hiatus in these activities, the new variant may have already made its way into Nigerian communities and thus the need to get back into action has just been reiterated, especially now that the festive season is here.

Source: NAN

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