What you need to know:
- The cases were reported among passengers with a history of travel to South Africa
Nigeria has confirmed three cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the country.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday reported that the cases were among passengers with a history of travel to South Africa.
Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General of NCDC, said the variant was discovered through genomic sequencing.
“This genomic surveillance has now identified and confirmed Nigeria’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variant,” he said in a statement.
“Samples obtained for the stipulated day two test for all travelers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa.
“These cases were recent arrivals in the country in the past week. Follow up to ensure isolation, linkage to clinical care, contact tracing and other relevant response activities have commenced.”
NCDC conducts case and genomic surveillance for inbound international travellers arriving in Nigeria at its National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Abuja, and a network of other testing laboratories.
Omicron variant, a new strain of the coronavirus disease, was first formally reported by South African scientists after it was detected in Botswana.
Since Omicron was discovered, the Federal Ministry of Health, through NCDC, has intensified public health response measures to Covid-19 in Nigeria.
The national travel advisory has also been revised by the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, and now requires all inbound travellers to Nigeria present a negative Covid-19 test result done not more than 48hrs before departure.