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COVID-19: NCDC Confirms Deadly Delta Variant In Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Thursday said it has detected a confirmed case with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2.

The NCDC in a statement said the variant was detected in a traveller to Nigeria, following the routine travel test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, Abuja.

The deadly Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.

The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries, according to the NCDC.

The NCDC Head of Communications, Dr Yahya Disu, in the statement said the variant had also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation.

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“There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics. As part of Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, NCDC has been working with the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases, and other laboratories within the national network, to carry out genomic sequencing.

“This is to enable the detection of variants of concern, and initiate response activities. All data on variants from Nigeria have been published on GISAID, a global mechanism for sharing sequencing data. Given the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travellers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly,” the statement partly read.

The Federal Government through the Presidential Steering Committee had initiated several measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19.

The measures include the introduction of travel restrictions from countries where there is a surge in cases associated with widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

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“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.

“It is very important that this is strictly adhered to, to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. Given the high transmissibility of the Delta variant and following its detection in Nigeria, NCDC urges all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures in place,” the statement said.

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