“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has detected a confirmed case with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, also known as lineage B.1.617.2,” the health agency said in a statement on Thursday night.
“The variant 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 NCDC, however, gave assurance to Nigerians that measures have been put in place by the federal government to tackle the disease, urging citizens to follow the recommended safety requirements.
“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent
handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives,” it added.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO), stated that the Delta variant has a higher transmissibility probability, and has caused concerns globally.
The new variant has also been confirmed in over 90 countries and is anticipated to be detected in more nations.
“The variant has also been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation,” the NCDC explained.
“There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.”
Nigeria had spotted the first case of the Coronavirus in February 2020. However, the country has seen its infection rate slow since the beginning of the year.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Iheakweazu stated that the growing number of infections in other parts of the world is a major cause for concern.
“The surge in cases in countries across the world and Africa is an important reminder of the risk we face,” he said.
As of the time of this report, over 160, 000 cases of the disease have been confirmed in Nigeria.