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Omicron: Reps urge Presidential Task Force, NCDC to intensify vigilance



Omicron: Reps urge Presidential Task Force, NCDC to intensify vigilance

The House of Representatives has urged the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to intensify surveillance in the country to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant of the virus in the country.

The call was the result of the unanimous adoption of a motion by Danchung Bagos (PDP-Plateau) in plenary on Tuesday.

Moving the motion, Mr. Bagos said the goal was to ensure that Nigerians continue to comply with all warnings aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19.

He said a new variant of COVID-19 Omicron was discovered in South Africa on November 26.

“It spreads around the world on Sunday, closing borders and renewing restrictions, as the head of the European Union said governments face a race against time to understand.

“The WHO designated the variant as a concern and named it Omicron, following the advice of the WHO Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (VE-TAG).

“This decision was based on the evidence presented to the TAG-VE that Omicron has several mutations that can have an impact on how it behaves, for example on how easily it spreads or the severity of the disease it causes,” he said. .

The representative said that researchers in South Africa and around the world were conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and would continue to share the findings of their studies.

Mr. Bagos expressed concern that Canada had detected its first case of the Omicron strain of COVID on Sunday in two people who had recently traveled to Nigeria.

“The Ontario government confirmed that the two cases are in the capital, Ottawa and also preliminary evidence suggests that there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (that is, people who have previously had COVID-19 could be re-infected more easily with Omicron), compared to other variants of interest.

“Concerned that a total of 126 genomes of this variant have been detected globally and published in GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data, and there appears to be a high number of mutations present in the Omicron variant and the exponential increase that suggests the virus is highly transmissible and may also present a higher risk of reinfection compared to another variant of concern, “he added.

The house urged the NCDC to ensure intensive observation and verify travel protocols for incoming passengers.

Lawmakers are also demanding that the NCDC step up the national response to control the emergence and spread of the new variant in order to prevent Nigeria from suffering the full impact of the third wave of the pandemic.

In his ruling, the president, Femi Gbajabiamila, ordered the relevant chamber committees to ensure compliance.


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