The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced the detection of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, which is also known as the B.1.1.529 lineage in Nigeria. According to a statement from NCDC yesterday, which was signed by its Director General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, the variant was detected in two Nigerians who arrived in the country last week. The agency, however, said two cases are asymptomatic, and that contact tracing has commenced. A subsequent statement from the NCDC, however, said that three cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have now been detected in the country.
“In line with the routine travel test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC through its National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Abuja, confirmed Nigeria’s first case of the omicron variant, also known as the B.1.1.529 lineage,” the statement reads in part. “Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two test for all travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria in the last week. “Retrospective sequencing of the previously confirmed cases among travellers to Nigeria also identified the Omicron variant among the sample collected in October 2021.”