As concerns continued to mount over the new variant of COVID-19 designated as variant of concern (VOC) and named Omicron by the World Health Organisation, WHO, the Federal Government on Sunday night reassured Nigerians that the Omicron variant has not been detected in Nigeria.
In a press statement, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said the centre is prioritising sequencing of recently accrued samples from SARS-COV-2 positive travellers from all countries, especially those from countries that have reported the Omicron variant already.
Adetifa further urged all States to ensure that sample collection and testing are accessible, so that travelers and people with symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19 cases get tested promptly.
“The state notes that the NCDC, through the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) continues to coordinate genomic surveillance and other activities required for the detection of variants.”
Adetifa also explained that a number of cases have now been reported in the UK, Israel, Botswana, Hong-Kong, Germany, Belgium, Italy and counting but no deaths have been attributed to the new variant yet.