Northern Nigerian Breaking News

NCDC confirms two cases of Omicron COVID-19 variant in Nigeria


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the first cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country.

NCDC announced this in a statement on Wednesday morning signed by its Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa.

The Omicron variant was identified in two travellers from South Africa last week through genomic sequencing of positive samples by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had labelled the new variant a Variant of Concern (VOC) after it was seen to be more transmissible with increased risk of re-infection.

The Director General of the NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, urged States to ensure strict compliance with preventive measures while ramping up sample collection and testing, especially with approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT).

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He also urged Nigerians to get vaccinated and adhere to the proven safety measures such as wearing face masks, regular hand washing and (or) sanitising with alcohol based sanitisers, and physical distancing.

He said: “In line with the routine travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) through its National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Abuja —confirmed Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant, also known as the B.1.1.529 lineage.

“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two test for all travelers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travelers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria in the last week.

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