Health + Wellness

105 New COVID-19 Cases Reported Amid Omicron Variant Emergence In Nigeria

A health worker wearing a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) suit tests a swab sample for COVID-19 at a primary health centre. NOAH SEELAM / AFP

Nigeria has confirmed 105 new cases of COVID-19 in eight states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) amid the emergence of a new variant of the virus – Omicron in the country.

Confirming the figure of new infections in a Facebook post on Wednesday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) revealed that one more infected person has lost the fight to the disease.

Of the new cases, Lagos reported 43, Gombe had 21, FCT confirmed 16, Niger recorded 10, Rivers had six, Plateau reported five, Edo confirmed two, while Bauchi and Kano recorded a case each.

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This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 214,218, out of which 207,304 people have been discharged and 2,977 deaths have been recorded.

While the NCDC said 3,937 cases are active, the agency stated that it has collected and tested a total of 3,580,510 samples since the country recorded its first case of the virus.

The report of 105 more cases comes at a time when authorities confirmed the first set of cases of a new variant of the virus – Omicron, which has forced many countries to ban flights from nations where infections of the new strain have been reported.

One of such countries is Canada which recently banned incoming travellers from Nigeria after it confirmed its first cases from two persons who arrived from the African nation.

Meanwhile, authorities in Nigeria have also confirmed three cases of the Omicron variant following the sequencing of samples from COVID-19 positive inbound travellers conducted in laboratories with sequencing capacity in the country.

“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,” NCDC Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Samples obtained for the stipulated day two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with 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. Arrangements are also being made to notify country where travel originated according to the provisions of the International Health Regulations.”

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