COVID: NCDC announces 197 infections, 2 deaths as Omicron variant hits 38 countries

NCDC says a total of 3,580,510 blood samples have been tested since the pandemic began across the country.

COVID-19: NCDC says Delta variant still dominant strain in Nigeria. [Instagram/NCDC]

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced two additional fatalities from the coronavirus pandemic on Friday with 197 fresh cases reported across five states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The NCDC made the disclosure in its daily COVID-19 report on Saturday morning .

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 197 additional cases reported on Friday indicate an increase from the 47 cases reported in the country on Friday, Dec. 3.

NAN reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said that the omicron variant, now detected in 38 countries, appears to be more contagious than the COVID-19 delta variant.

The organisation had said there was a suggestion of increased transmissibility adding that , “what we need to understand is if it’s more or less transmissible compared to delta.

“Omicron has some 30 mutations on the spike protein, which is the mechanism used to bind to human cells.

“Some of these mutations are associated with higher transmission and the ability to escape immune protection,” WHO had said.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Public Health Institute said the country’s fatality toll from the disease now stood at 2,980.

The NCDC added that till date, 214, 513 cases had been confirmed with 207,403 cases discharged and 2,980 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The 197 States- Lagos (138), Rivers (23), FCT (18), Imo (15), Bauchi (1), and Gombe (1),”It stated

The Nigerian Public Health Institute said that a multi-sectoral national emergency operations centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continues to coordinate the national response activities.

The agency added that a total of 3,580,510 blood samples have been tested since the pandemic began across the country.

NAN recalls that since the reports of the emergence of this Omicron variant in the country , the Federal Ministry of Health through the NCDC, has intensified public health response measures to COVID-19 in the country.

Meanwhile, South African scientists found that omicron is associated with a “substantial ability” to re-infect people who already had COVID-19 , compared with past variants of the virus.

The study, published by the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, has not yet been peer reviewed.

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