in , ,

COVID-19: Delta Variant found in Nigeria-NCDC

By Dan-Maryam Zayamu

The  Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed that the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant also known as lineage B.1.617.2  has been confirmed in Nigeria.

The NCDC stated this in a statement in Abuja, Thursday.

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

The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) 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.

The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. 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 (NIMR), African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID),  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  globalmechanism  for  sharing  sequencing  data. 

Given  the  global  risk  of  spread  of  the  Delta variant, positive samples from international travelers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly.   

The  Government  of  Nigeria  through  the  Presidential  Steering  Committee  (PSC)  has initiated several measures to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19. This 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.  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. Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.  

 The NCDC, therefore, advised  states  to ensure sample collection and testing for COVID-19 is accessible to the public.

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.   According to the Director General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, “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”.   

The recommended control measures to limit the spread of the Delta variant continue to be testing, following the existing public health guidance and abiding by the current travel and public restrictions.   

Written by ExpressDay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2023: Yahaya Bello support group appoints former Kebbi House member as D-G

PCS declines Magu’s promotion, confirms 3 DIGs, promotes 35 DCPs, other senior officers