The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country on Wednesday morning.
This was stated in a press release issued by the center and signed by Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General.
According South Africa reported the Omicron variant, a new strain of the coronavirus disease that was first detected in Botswana. However, according to a Dutch health agency, the omicron coronavirus variant was already in the Netherlands a week before South Africa reported the new variant to the World Health Organization.
Following the discovery, countries such as the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, among others, imposed travel bans on countries in southern Africa.
Similarly, the Canadian government stated that it discovered two cases of the variant from two Nigerian passengers.
However, the Federal Government, through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, stated that it was investigating the issue to obtain more information.
The statement reads in part, “In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers, genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.
“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day-two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travellers to Nigeria also identified the Omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021”.