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COVID-19: NCDC says no case of Omicron variant in Nigeria

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THE Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said there had been no case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country.

This was contained in a statement signed by the NCDC Director-General Ifedayo Adetifa on Monday over concerns about the new variant of COVID-19.

“The variant was first identified from testing done on 9th November 2021 in Botswana on travellers from West Africa. It was reported to WHO on the identification of cases among a cluster of young unvaccinated people in South Africa on 24th November 2021.

“While this variant has so far not been detected in Nigeria, a number of cases have now been reported in the UK, Israel, Botswana, Hong Kong, Germany, Belgium, Italy and counting,” the statement read in part.

The NCDC said it was currently monitoring emerging evidence on the new variant and its implication, with collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health to inform Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adetifa said the NCDC, in collaboration with Port Health Services of the Federal Ministry of Health, had commenced enhanced surveillance at the airports and points of entry into Nigeria.

“Considering the highly likely increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant and its emergence that is linked to unmitigated community transmission of the virus, the NCDC urges Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to the proven public health and social measures in place,” the statement further read.

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The NCDC also advised Nigerians to avoid travelling to countries with a surge in COVID-19 Omicron variant.

On Sunday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said it was not yet clear whether infection with Omicron caused more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta.

The WHO noted that there was currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron were different from those from other variants.

The world health body also said that preliminary evidence suggested that there might be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron because people who previously had COVID-19 could become re-infected more easily with Omicron.

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