The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has disclosed that its system has detected the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
The NCDC said the variant was detected in the cause of its genomic surveillance for inbound international travellers arriving in the country at its National Reference Laboratory, NRL, Abuja and a network of other testing laboratories.
NCDC Director General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa explained in a statement that samples obtained for the stipulated day two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for the variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa.
He said that sequencing of samples from COVID-19 positive inbound travellers was being conducted in laboratories with sequencing capacity in the country and all the sequencing data are shared in publicly accessible databases.
The NCDC assumed that Omicron variant is widespread globally given the increasing number of countries reporting it.
He appealed to Nigerians to adhere strictly to these travel protocols and other public safety measures to protect themselves, families, friends, the community at large and to prevent a fourth wave of COVID-19 in the country.