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COVID-19: NCDC Speaks On New Variant In Nigeria

COVID-19: NCDC Speaks On New Variant In Nigeria 

Adetifa, on the other hand, says that B.5.2.1 has been identified in Nigeria since July 2022.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

The COVID-19 Omicron sub-lineages, which are in part to blame for the current rise in the virus’ cases in China, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States, have not yet been found in Nigeria, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which made the announcement on Wednesday, January 4, 2022.

This information was provided by the NCDC in a COVID-19 genomic surveillance update that was signed by Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, its Director General (DG).

The report revealed that XBB.1.5, an Omicron sub-lineage, is to blame for the spike in cases in the US and the UK, while BF.7 is to blame for the rise in cases in China.

However, according to Adetifa, B.5.2.1 has been detected in Nigeria since July 2022.

Adetifa claims that since the emergence of the variant and its relatives with their shorter incubation periods, country-targeted travel restrictions, including requests for PCR-negative tests from incoming travelers, have had little to no impact on preventing the global and national circulation of omicron.

“The NCDC continues to strengthen genomic surveillance of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria. Since the detection of the Omicron variant in December 2021, its sub-lineage (BQ.1/BQ.1.1) has been dominant in Nigeria. None of these dominant sub-lineages in Nigeria that are also circulating elsewhere has been associated with any increases in case numbers, admissions, or deaths locally.

“The sub-lineages partly responsible for the current increase in COVID-19 cases in other countries i.e., XBB.1.5 and BF.7 have not yet been detected in the country but B.5.2.1 has been seen here since July 2022 and the others are most likely here already. BF.7 and XBB have also been circulating in South Africa since October 2022 but without any accompanying increase in cases, severe illness, or deaths,” the statement by Adetifa reads in part.

In Nigeria, 35 additional confirmed cases were reported between December 24 and December 30, 2022. Four States—FCT (22), Lagos (10), Delta (2), and Plateau—have reported new cases (1).

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