COVID-19: NCDC detect Delta Variant in Abuja

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has detected a confirmed case with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2. 

The variant was detected in a traveler to Nigeria, following the compulsory travel test required of all international travelers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.

This was disclosed in a press release issued on Thursday by the Centre.

The Delta variant according to the NCDC is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased rapid transmissibility.

The variant which is presently in 90 countries has been linked to be the type that is dominant in countries where it is detected.

In response to this development the NCDC is working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), and other laboratories within the national network, to carry out genomic sequencing to enable the detection of variants of concern, and initiate response activities.

Also, the Federal Government has includes the introduction of travel restrictions from countries where there is a surge in cases associated with widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

The national travel protocol which includes compulsory seven-day self-isolation and repeat test on the seventh day after arrival, are in place to reduce the risk of spread of the virus.

States have been urged to continue with their testing procedures in centres and public settings such as schools with accommodation facilities, workplaces and camps should utilise the approved Antigen-based Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) for rapid testing of their population.

Although, the country is witnessing low confirmed cases of the virus, the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu has urged members of the public to continue with the precautionary safety measures.

He said, “Although we have seen a low number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria in the last eight weeks, it is incredibly important that we do not forget to be careful. The surge in cases in countries across the

world and Africa is an important reminder of the risk we face.

“Please protect yourselves and the people you love by adhering to the known public health and social measures, getting vaccinated if you are eligible and getting tested if you have symptoms”.

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