NIGERIA. Abuja: Nigeria has joined a host of other countries around the world to record its first known cases of the Coronavirus variant known as Omicron variant or B.1.1.529 lineage. Africa’s most populous nation is on high alert as three people in the country have been infected with the newly identified Omicron. The cases were confirmed through genomic sequencing.
This was made known by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Director-General, Ifedayo Adetifa on Wednesday, December 1.
Adetifa said that the case was confirmed as a result of the NCDC continuing routine test on every international traveller that arrived in Nigeria and genomic sequencing through its National Reference Laboratory in Abuja.
The positive cases of the Omicron variant were a result of the collected samples of travellers who arrived in Nigeria from South Africa in October. This came after Canada reported that two travellers from Nigeria were confirmed with the Omicron Variant infections, Ifedayo said.
Ifedayo, therefore, urged Nigerians not to panic as plans are on top gear to curb the spread of the various variants.
What we need to know about Omicron variant
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cited by Vox media, Omicron is the newest Covid-19 variant. Experts have however said that the new variant is widely contagious and is 30 times worse in the time of spreading than the Delta variant.
Omicron has also been found in Belgium, Botswana, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
An Omicron Variant deals with human cells and transmits easily and has the capacity to invade humans despite immunity conferred by vaccine.
According to the WHO, the first case of the Omicron variant was found in a sample taken on 8 November in Gauteng, South Africa’s most populous province.
The Omicron variant comes while the Delta variant is still dominating worldwide and currently stands at 99.9 per cent in time of cases in the U.S.
The arrival of the omicron variant has coincided with rising Covid-19 cases in South Africa.