The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed three additional cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the country, summing it up to six.
Ifedayo Adetifa, NCDC Director-Deneral disclosed on Tuesday December 7, that the new cases were detected in individuals with recent travel history to South Africa.
The statement read:
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed three (3) 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 (6).
“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 (NRL) 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 NCDC also revealed that it has been notified by the UK government of seven cases of travellers from Nigeria, who tested positive for the variant.
The statement added:
“In line with Article 44 of the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR) reporting framework, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the NCDC has also been notified by the UK Government of seven (7) cases of travellers from Nigeria with the Omicron variant.
“Given the reports of increasing numbers of Omicron cases in the UK, the NCDC is also prioritising the sequencing of COVID-19 positive samples in travellers with history of travel to the UK.”