Omicron Variant Of Coronavirus Now In Nigeria?

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There are speculations  that the Omicron variant of  coronavrius   first detected in Southern Africa  last week may now  be present in Nigeria.

This is because two cases have been discovered in Candada and these were reported in people  who travelled to Nigeria recently.

Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement;  “I was informed today by the Public Health Agency of Canada that testing and monitoring of COVID-19 cases has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of concern in Ontario,”

“As the monitoring and testing continues, it is expected that other cases of this variant will be found in Canada.”

The Nigerian  health  authorities   had,  however, denied the presence of the variant in the country. In a press statement, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said the centre was giving  priority to sequencing recently accrued samples from SARS-COV-2 positive travellers from all countries, especially those from countries that have reported the Omicron variant already.

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“The state notes that the NCDC, through the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) continues to coordinate genomic surveillance and other activities required for the detection of variants.

“A total of 126 genomes of this variant have been detected globally and published on GISAID, (GISAID is a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data).

“Given the high number of mutations present in this Omicron variant and the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases observed in South Africa, this virus is considered highly transmissible and may also present an increased risk of reinfection compared to other VOCs.

The detection of the Omicron variant is already triggering alarm all over the world. The World Health Organisation , however, says, ” Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron and will continue to share the findings of these studies as they become available. “

 

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