Breaking: NCDC speaks on fresh COVID-19 variant in Nigeria

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has spoken on fresh Covid-19 variant in Nigeria.

The NCDC said the subvariants have not yet been identified in Nigeria.

The NCDC in a press statement issued on Saturday and signed by its Director General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said it is monitoring the new EG.5 and BA.2.86 subvariants of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

The statement further said that the NCDC’s COVID-19 Technical Working Group is closely monitoring COVID-19 epidemiology – local, regional, continental, and global – including emerging variants.

“Our influenza sentinel surveillance sites continue to provide information on COVID-19 prevalence in patients with influenza-like illness and severe acute respiratory illness. We have not observed any increase in the trend of COVID-19 in this patient group.

“We continue to carry out genomics surveillance even with the low testing levels and encourage testing locations in states to ensure their positive samples are sent on to the NCDC for sequencing.

“Unrelated to the news of these emerging variants, the NCDC and partners are working on implementing an enhanced COVID-19 testing exercise in four states to obtain complementary and more detailed information about circulating variants in the country. In addition, COVID-19 rapid diagnostic kits are being distributed for the purpose of improving bi-directional COVID-19 testing,” it said.

The NCDC added that there is no need to cause unnecessary anxiety and panic.

“As we have consistently advised, COVID-19 is here to stay, and is now mainly a problem for those at high risk – the elderly, those with underlying chronic illnesses, especially hypertension, diabetes, those on cancer treatment, organ transplant recipients, and those whose immune systems are suppressed for one reason or the other,” it noted.