Nigeria confirms 6 new cases of COVID-19 variant


Nigeria confirmed six new B117 coronavirus variant cases in two states in the country, said Chikwe Ihekweazu, head of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) was quoted as saying Tuesday.

He said the health agency, partnered with a local research center on infectious diseases, has recently detected the B117 variant in six additional samples with five from the southwest state of Osun and one from central north state of Kwara, bringing the number of B117 cases in the country to seven.

Ihekweazu said the development raises concern over community transmission of the variant. “We are currently scaling up on genomic surveillance,” he said.

According to him, NCDC has begun sequencing positive samples among travelers from Britain and South Africa, who test positive on the seventh day of testing.

The NCDC boss urged the public to avoid large gatherings, wash hands regularly, wear a face mask properly and ensure physical distancing.

The Nigerian government had earlier confirmed the country recorded four cases of the highly contagious B117 variant strain of the COVID-19.

Three of these new cases were in Nigerians who had traveled out of the country and one in a resident, said Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, at a daily news conference in Abuja on January 25. Enditem

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