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NCDC: Nigeria has detected 45 Omicron COVID cases (updated)

NCDC: Nigeria has detected 45 Omicron COVID cases (updated)
December 24
12:45 2021

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says Nigeria has recorded 45 cases of the Omicron COVID variant.

Ifedayo Adetifa, director-general of the NCDC, disclosed this during a virtual media briefing on Friday.

The NCDC DG said 13,758 sequences have been uploaded on GISAID, a global epidemic database, as at December 20.

On December 1, the NCDC recorded three cases of the new variant in Nigeria.

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Days later, three additional cases were recorded.

The index case of Omicron was detected in South Africa and the World Health Organisation (WHO) had subsequently designated Omicron as a “variant of concern”, calling on global leaders to take action to contain its spread.

The NCDC DG also said no COVID death in Nigeria has been linked to the Omicron variant.

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According to Adetifa, the additional Omicron variants were not cases from travel history, but from within the country, which suggests that the country is already experiencing community transmission.

He emphasised that it was important for Nigerians to maintain physical distance and avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.

“We are counting on you to celebrate responsibly and take responsibility to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from COVID-19,” he said.

The DG said further measures to curb the spread of the Omicron variant are reducing group sizes, limiting contact and closing high-risk premises.

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He added that “indoor mixing” is the “biggest risk factor” for the spread of Omicron, as large gatherings risk creating “multiple spreading events”.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated following a clarification by the NCDC that 45 cases — not 49 — have so far been detected in the country.

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