Matters Arising gathered that, Nigeria on Wednesday joined the growing number of countries that have recorded the first cases of the Omicron variant also known as B.1.1.529 lineage.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced this in a statement signed by the Director-General, Ifedayo Adetifa, on Wednesday morning.
The disease centre said the two cases of the variant were discovered through “genomic sequencing.”
The statement reads in part: “In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers and 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.”
The development comes after Canada said it detected two cases of the variant from Nigerian travellers.
The NCDC said efforts are in top gear to strengthen surveillance in the country and curb its spread.