Omicron cases in Nigeria traced to South Africa – NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Tuesday said three additional cases of the Omicron variant have been reported.

With the new cases, the number of the recently discovered variant of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria now stands at six.

The variant that was first reported by South Africa is being designated a ‘variant of concern’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Notwithstanding the decision by the WHO to launch investigations into the new discovery, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Canada and a host of other countries have issued travel restrictions into their territories.

Announcing the latest figure in a statement in Abuja, Director-General NCDC Ifedayo Adetifa said the three additional cases were detected in passengers linked to South Africa in November.

“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,” the statement said.  

Lagos on 4th wave

Meanwhile, Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has alerted Nigerians of an impending fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the positivity rate was a strong indication that Nigeria may soon be faced with surge in infections.

Governor Sanwo-Olu stated this in a statement personally signed by him Tuesday.

He blame the resurgence on non-adherence to preventive measures by Nigerians.

Sanwo-Olu said the new positivity rate is against the rates of 0.1 per cent recorded in the middle of November 2021.

As at December 5, he said, the state had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a total of, 71,977 certified to have recovered in community while 612 were still being managed actively in community.

He said: “…most of the continents of the world – including Africa – are now experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Lagos State is not left out as we are also experiencing the beginnings of a fourth wave with the current positivity rate at 6 per cent.”