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JUST IN: NCDC confirms deadly Delta variant of COVID-19 in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), on Thursday, disclosed that it has detected a confirmed case of COVID-19 with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also called lineage B.1.617.2.

The NCDC in a statement declared that the COVID-19 variant was detected in a traveller to Nigeria, after the routine travel test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.

The deadly Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased contagiousness.

The variant has been detected in over 90 nations and is expected to spread to more nations, in accordance with the NCDC.

The NCDC Head of Communications, Dr Yahya Disu, in the statement stated that the variant had also been linked to a surge in cases in nations where it is the dominant strain in circulation.

The statement read in part, “There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics. As part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, NCDC has been working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, and other laboratories within the national network, to carry out genomic sequencing.

“This is to enable the detection of variants of concern, and initiate response activities. All data on variants from Nigeria have been published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data. Given the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travellers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly.”

The Federal Government via the Presidential Steering Committee had started several measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

The measures comprise the introduction of travel restrictions from nations where there is a surge in cases related to widespread dominance of variants of concern.

The statement added, “The national travel protocol, which includes compulsory seven-day self-isolation and repeat test on the seventh day after arrival, are in place to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.

“It is very important that this is strictly adhered to, to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place.”


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