Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) and the African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at Redeemers University have detected additional six COVID-19 B117 variants.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director General, NCDC, made the confirmation on Monday in Abuja at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing.
The variant was discovered in six samples – five from Osun and one from Kwara.
The coronavirus type first emerged in the United Kingdom.
“The five in Osun is most likely related to the fact that this is where ACEGID is and where they get a lot of samples from.
“In total, we have detected the B.1.1.7 variant in seven cases within Nigeria”, NAN quoted him as saying.
Ihekweazu noted that the development raises concern over community transmission of the variant.
NCDC disclosed that it had commenced sequencing positive samples among travelers from the UK and South Africa.
The agency is developing a protocol to sequence more samples from states at ACEGID, NIMR, and the NCDC National Reference Laboratory.