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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

BREAKING: COVID-19 variant not in Nigeria, says NCDC

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said the COVID-19 Omicron sub-lineages partly responsible for the current increase in the virus’ cases in China, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States, have not yet been detected in the country.

The NCDC disclosed this in an update on COVID-19 genomic surveillance signed by its Director General (DG), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, on Wednesday, January 4, 2022.

According to the statement, the Omicron sub-lineage responsible for the rise in cases in the US and UK is XBB.1.5 while BF.7 is responsible for the increased cases in China.

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Adetifa said country-targeted travel restrictions including requests for PCR-negative tests from incoming travellers had little or no effect on preventing global and national circulation of omicron since the emergence of the variant and its relatives with their shorter incubation period.

“The NCDC continues to strengthen genomic surveillance of the COVID-19 virus in Nigeria. Since the detection of the Omicron variant in December 2021, its sub-lineage (BQ.1/BQ.1.1) has been dominant in Nigeria.

“None of these dominant sub-lineages in Nigeria that are also circulating elsewhere has been associated with any increases in case numbers, admissions, or deaths locally.

“The sub-lineages partly responsible for the current increase in COVID-19 cases in other countries i.e., XBB.1.5 and BF.7 have not yet been detected in the country but B.5.2.1 has been seen here since July 2022 and the others are most likely here already.

“BF.7 and XBB have also been circulating in South Africa since October 2022 but without any accompanying increase in cases, severe illness, or deaths,” the statement by Adetifa reads in part.

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