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COVID-19: Nigeria confirms three additional Omicron variant


Nigeria has recorded three additional cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to six.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, noting that the new cases were detected in persons with recent travel history to South Africa in November.

Mr Adetifa also said that through the NCDC the Nigerian government has been notified by the government of the United Kingdom (UK) of seven cases of Omicron variant detected in travellers from Nigeria.

“Given the reports of increasing numbers of Omicron cases in the UK, the NCDC is also prioritising the sequencing of COVID-19 positive samples in travellers with a history of travel to the UK,.” he said.

Although the NCDC boss established that the delta variant remains the dominant variant so far, he said the centre will continue to coordinate genomic surveillance activities across the country to sequence all positive COVID-19 samples from international travellers arriving in Nigeria, including samples from international travellers from October 2021 to date.

He also added that Nigeria currently has no evidence of community transmission of the omicron variant in Nigeria.

Preventive measures

Explaining further, the NCDC boss said: “all viruses naturally mutate over time and will continue to happen as long as the world does not act in concert to significantly reduce transmission through vaccination and adherence to effective public health measures such as mask use, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and ensuring good ventilation.”

“Compliance with the travel protocols provided by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19) is mandatory for all international travellers arriving in Nigeria from any country.

READ ALSO: Omicron: Don’t panic, COVID-19 vaccines still effective, NCDC tells Nigerians

“Incoming travellers should ensure their day 2 and day 7 tests are done as stipulated in Nigeria’s travel advisory. Otherwise, there will be consequences for defaulters which may include publication of their details, suspension of their passports and ban on travel to Nigeria by the PSC-COVID-19, ”the statement added.

Background

Nigeria had on Wednesday joined the growing number of countries that have recorded cases of the omicron variant also known as B.1.1.529 lineage.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced in a statement signed by Mr Adetifa that it recorded three cases through “genomic sequencing.”

Prior to Nigeria’s announcement, the Canadian government had said it recorded two cases of the variant in two travellers who recently visited Nigeria.

Since then, there have been some consequences for the country as both Canada and the United Kingdom have listed Nigeria among countries to suffer travel restrictions.

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