NCDC detects dreadful COVID-19 variant in Nigeria

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed a case of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in the country.

NCDC in a statement on Thursday night said the variant also known as lineage B.1.617.2 was detected in a traveller who came to Nigeria.

The centre said this followed the routine test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.

The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organization as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.

The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries.

NCDC said the variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation.

There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.

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NCDC in a statement said it has been working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), and other laboratories within the national network, to carry out genomic sequencing.

The statement read, “This is to enable the detection of variants of concern, and initiate response activities.

“All data on variants from Nigeria have been published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data. Given the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travellers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly.”

NCDC said the recommended control measures to limit the spread of the Delta variant continue to be testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.

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It urged all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.

The centre also urged states to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public.

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