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Just In: Nigeria Omicron cases jumps to six

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Federal Government through the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has disclosed that three other persons have tested positive to omicron variant of coronavirus.

The apex government noted that with the new reported cases, the total of recently discovered variant of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria has jumped to six.

The NCDC in the statement signed by the Director-General, Ifedayo Adetifa, further explained that the three additional cases were detected in passengers linked to South Africa in November.

The statement partly reads, “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed three more cases of COVID-19 with the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, i.e., the Omicron variant, in Nigeria.

“In addition to the three cases announced earlier on 1st December 2021, this brings the total number of confirmed cases of the Omicron variant detected in Nigeria to six. All the Omicron cases so far were detected in persons with recent travel history to South Africa in November.

“The NCDC through the National Reference Laboratory continues to coordinate genomic surveillance activities across the country to sequence all positive COVID-19 samples from international travellers arriving in Nigeria. This includes sequencing of positive samples from international travellers from October 2021 to date.

“The Delta variant remains the dominant variant and so far, we have not seen the replacement of this variant by the new Omicron variant as observed elsewhere.”

The government had last Wednesday confirmed that three South African returnees tested positive to the Omicron variant of COVID-19, becoming the country’s first cases under the fourth wave .

It said that they were discovered after series of tests conducted at the National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Abuja, and a network of other testing laboratories on samples received from inbound international travelers at the ports in the past week.

The new cases were confirmed on Wednesday through a statement released by the NCDC Director-General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, saying they were discovered through genomic surveillance.

NCDC disclosed that the agency has contacted the South African Government and has also commenced contact tracing of the cases to prevent further spread of the virus in the country.

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