COVID-19: NCDC confirms 2 cases of Omicron variant in Nigeria

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COVID-19: NCDC confirms 2 cases of Omicron variant in Nigeria

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.

This was disclosed in a press release issued Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, NCDC’s Director-General on Wednesday.

The NCDC said two cases of the variant were discovered through genomic sequencing linking the cases to two passengers from South Africa.

The statement reads in part, “In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.

“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 travelers to Nigeria also identified the omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021.”

The NCDC however added that the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.

The Omicron variant which is a new strain of the coronavirus disease, was first spotted in Botswana last week.

Consequently, countries such as the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Israel among others placed travel bans on southern African countries.

The government of Canada had also stated that it discovered two cases of the variant from two passengers from Nigeria, the Federal Government through the Presidential Steering Committee on Coronavirus (COVID-19), had, however, said that it was investigating the issue to get more details.

COVID-19: NCDC confirms 2 cases of Omicron variant in Nigeria

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