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NCDC confirms two cases of Omicron variant in Nigeria



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THE Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed the first two cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the centre on Wednesday.

“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two tests for all travelers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travelers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria in the last week,” it read.

The statement also noted that retrospective [sequencing] of previously confirmed cases among travellers to Nigeria also showed the presence of the variant in samples collected since October 2021.

According to the NCDC, available evidence did not reveal much difference in symptoms between the Omicron and other strains of the COVID-19.  However, the new variant might be more transmissible.

“Given the highly likely increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, it is imperative to put in place measures to curb community transmission.

“The NCDC recommends that states ensure sample collection and testing remain widely accessible, so that people who have symptoms or have been exposed to a positive case get tested quickly,” it read.

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The centre also recommended using the Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for speedy testing in public places.

South Africa first reported cases of the Omicron variant to the World Health Organisation (WHO), but Dutch authorities have said the variant was present in the Netherlands even before those cases.

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