Nigeria third on list of African countries with Omicron cases

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Nigeria has recorded a total of 49 Omicron cases as of December 20, 2021.

The NCDC Incident Manager, Luka Lawal, made this known during a virtual media briefing on Friday.

Mrs Lawal said Nigeria ranks third in the list of African countries with the highest cases of Omicron after South Africa and Botswana with 1,296 and 291 cases respectively.

She noted that as of Monday, a total of 13,758 sequences have been uploaded on GISAID, a global epidemic database.

Omicron

Nigeria on December 1, 2021, joined the growing number of countries that have recorded cases of the omicron variant also known as B.1.1.529 lineage.

The index case of Omicron was detected in South Africa after which the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated Omicron a “variant of concern”.

Although the first cases of the Omicron variant were detected among travellers from South Africa to Nigeria, the NCDC explained that the subsequent cases detected are not from travellers but within Nigeria.

Mrs Lawal said the NCDC incident manager noted that the Delta variant contributed more to the third wave of COVID-19 experience in Nigeria.

She said the Delta variant remains the most dominant since the outbreak of COVID-19, with 2,237 cases detected in Nigeria as of December 20, 2021.

“There are other variants but the Delta variant is the most contagious variant yet and may trigger serious illness compared to others,” she said.

COVID-19 in Nigeria

The NCDC announced the fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria on December 20, 2021.

It said the country has recorded a 500 per cent increase in the number of confirmed cases within the past two weeks.

The Director-General of the disease centre, Ifedayo Adefila, in a statement noted that the rise in infections has been linked to both the Delta and Omicron variants of the rampaging virus.

However, the latest statistics by the NCDC show that Nigeria’s infection toll has increased to 233,353, while the fatality toll stands at 2,991.

As of Wednesday, the number of active cases increased from 12,547 to 16,569 cases, while the number of discharged cases now stands at 212,040.

The data also shows that Nigeria has so far tested 3,751,696 samples.

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