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COVID-19: NCDC speaks on new variant in Nigeria

Adetifa, however, said B.5.2.1 has been seen in Nigeria since July 2022.

NCDC says we are far from mass production of COVID-19 vaccines. [starnewsonline]

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, January 04, 2022, 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.

Update: The statement showed that 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.

Adetifa, however, said B.5.2.1 has been seen in Nigeria since July 2022.

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Travel restrictions had no effect in preventing circulation: According to Adetifa, 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.

What you should know: From 24th to 30th December 2022, 35 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria. The new cases are reported from 4 States- FCT (22), Lagos (10), Delta (2) and Plateau (1).

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