The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in Nigeria.
The first cases of the COVID-19 Omicron virus were announced on Wednesday.
The Director-General of the NCDC Dr Ifedayo Adetifa confirmed this in a statement.
This confirmation occurred after Canada discovered two cases from recent travellers to Nigeria. This has forced Canada to place a travel ban on Nigeria among other countries.
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 said it was investigating the case.
On Wednesday, two cases of the variant were discovered through genomic sequencing. These cases were traced to South Africa. This was disclosed in a statement.
“In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers. Genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.
“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day-two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travellers to Nigeria also identified the Omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021”.
The NCDC said the two cases are asymptomatic adding that contact tracing had begun.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 Omicron variant was first detected in Botswana. After the first case, some countries took strict measures to control the spread. They placed travel bans on Southern African countries.
Among these countries are the UK, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Canada.