Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) over the weekend reported six new cases in Nigeria of the UK variant virus of coronavirus discovered in the West African nation.
Chikwe Iheakwazu, Director-General of the NCDC, said the variant was discovered from samples collected by scientists at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at a university in southwestern Osun State.
Britain has been swept by the variant known as B.1.1.7. The British government last month revealed data suggesting the strain could be deadlier as well as more transmissible.
Iheakwazu said five cases had been detected in Osun State and one in Kwara State.
“This is the UK variant virus of concern that first emerged in the Britain,” he said, during a Monday briefing.
“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.”
Nigeria has been spared the impact of infections in the initial first wave of the pandemic that emerged in China in late 2019, with the second wave proving to be it’s worst time.
In its second wave which began back in November 2020, the virus has so far infected nearly 132,000 and claimed 1,607 lives in Africa’s most populated nation.
Recorded data by the NCDC, shows in the last two months there have been 405 deaths as result of the new variant.
Where was the first case in Nigeria of the UK-variant virus?
Officials in Nigeria hope on the arrival of the expected 16 million doses of vaccine by end of this month reported capitalfm.