- Nigerian authorities say they have discovered two cases on the Omicron covid variant in the country
- This was announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control with assurances that contact tracing has commenced
- The Omicron variant labelled by the World Health Organization has since been classified as a "variant of concern"
FCT, Abuja - The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday morning, December 1 confirmed the first case of the Omicron Covid variant in the country.
This was contained in a press statement issued by the NCDC boss, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa and seen by Legit.ng.
The statement reads in part:
“In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers, genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.
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“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day-two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travellers to Nigeria also identified the Omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021.”
The NCDC, however, stated that the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.
Omicron: We Are Monitoring Situation, NCDC Reveals
The NCDC had earlier revealed that there were no cases of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus in the country as at Monday, November 29.
The NCDC also announced that the body with the Federal Ministry of Health was monitoring the situation of the virus.
The agency also noted that the rate of the spread of the Omicron variant makes it highly transmittable but added that, so far, claims that it is resistant to vaccines are not proven.
Expert Warns Nigerian Authorities Over Omicron Variant
Meanwhile, a medical expert has warned on the risks of travel bans for Nigeria following the recent detection of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on two Nigerian travellers in Canada.
Speaking on the situation, the chairman of the expert review on COVID-19, Professor Oyewale Tomori, said the NCDC has failed to coordinate genomic sequencing of COVID-19 samples collected across Nigeria.
Tomori also alleged that the NCDC has been bypassing samples to South Africa for testing despite having laboratories with the capability to run the process of genomic sequencing.