COVID-19 variant in UK now in Nigeria, scientists warn

COVID-19 variant in UK now in Nigeria, scientists warn

- Scientists said they have discovered in Nigeria, the mutant variant of COVID-19 currently ravaging the UK

- Dubbed "B.1.1.7 lineage", the virus has been responsible for the sudden rise of casualties and infection in the European nation

- According to the ACEGID scientists, the variant is also responsible for the spike in the COVID-19 cases nationwide

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There is fresh anxiety over the second wave of the deadly coronavirus after the variant of the COVID-19 that has recently plunged the United SKingdom into panic was found in Nigeria.

The variant was discovered by scientists at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at the Redeemers University in Ede, Osun state.

Dubbed "B.1.1.7 lineage", scientists said it is responsible for the exponential spike in the recent figure of infection in the UK with over 30,000 record cases announced in the country in a single day despite the approval of the Pfizer vaccines.

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More than twenty countries across the world have placed a travel ban on the European country after the new wave was detected in September 2020.

New COVID-19 variant in UK found in Nigeria – Experts
Experts have revealed that the COVID-19 variant in the UK has been found in Nigeria. Credit: PT
Source: UGC

Warning through a publication in Virological, a website for the global Genomics community, ACEGID on Monday, December 21, stated that mutant variant has been existing in Osun state since August 3, when they obtained the first sample.

It also said the recent spike in the number of the coronavirus figure witnessed in the country is as a result of the mutant variant, The Punch reports.

Part of the publication read:

“The B.1.1.7 lineage we found in Nigeria, predating the one described in the UK, has also been observed to rise rapidly in the UK over the past four weeks, indicating the plausible increased spread of the virus by specific non-synonymous mutations in the spike protein.”

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Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria's former vice president, has blamed the federal government for the resurgence of COVID-19 infections in recent times.

Atiku blamed the government in a social media post titled: An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

He said the reason Nigeria took a harder than necessary hit during the first wave of the COVID-19 virus was that the Buhari administration failed to heed the warnings of well-meaning Nigerians, including himself, to shut down borders once the virus became a pandemic.

Workers to work from home - PTF

The federal government has directed all the government workers on grade level 12 and below to stay at home for the next five weeks amid the second wave of the deadly coronavirus.

The directive was issued on Monday evening, December 21, by the presidential task force on COVID-19 during a media briefing in Abuja.

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According to Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the PTF, the decision to direct government staff to work from home is one of the measures put in place to curb the second wave of coronavirus infection.

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