The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it has confirmed 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 UK variant in the country.
Its Director-General, Dr Chikwe Iheakwazu, said at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja that the new variant had spread across six states in Nigeria.
“We have now confirmed a total of 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, and this has been confirmed in Edo, Kwara, Lagos, Osun, Oyo and FCT,” Iheakwazu said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was first detected in UK and have since spread to other parts of the world.
The B.1.1.7 variant, which health experts described as highly infectious, had spread to more than 80 countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Iheakwazu commended scientists working at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), Redeemers University in Ede in Osun, for their efforts in detecting the variants.
The NCDC director-general said the infectious disease centre would continue to scale genomic surveillance.
He said: “It is very likely more cases of the variant will be detected.
“So, we continue looking out for this and working toward mitigating any impact it might have on our response.”
Ihekweazu said that the B.1.351 variant dominant in South Africa had not been detected in Nigeria. (NAN)