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New COVID-19 variant discovered in Nigeria, 15 other countries

The Nigeria Centre for Illness Management (NCDC) has mentioned {that a} new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Nigeria and 15 different nations.

The brand new pressure, B.1.2.5, which is totally different from the extremely infectious B.1.1.7 has, nonetheless, not been described as a variant of concern but.

Disclosing this on the Presidential Job Drive on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, the NCDC Director-Normal, Chikwe Ihekweazu, mentioned that researchers and scientists had been nonetheless working arduous to grasp if the variant had any impact on the virus’ transmissibility, immunity in addition to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

He mentioned, “As we shared, a complete of 54 circumstances with the B.1.1.7 variant pressure, which is a variant of concern first described within the UK, have been detected in Nigeria.

“There’s a new variant, the B.1.2.5, which we’ve begun to detect in Nigeria and 15 different nations. It is very important word that this variant has not been described as a variant of concern but.

“Researchers and scientists are nonetheless working arduous to grasp if this variant has any impact on the virus transmissibility, immunity, in addition to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

“It is because the variant has some comparable mutations with the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 variants first detected in the UK, South Africa and Brazil, respectively.”

The NCDC boss said that the company was scaling up its sequencing capability to have a greater understanding of the burden of variants of concern within the nation.

He famous: “Final week, we despatched one other 100 samples to our colleagues on the ACEGID lab in Ede, and we did 30 sequences in our lab at NCDC.

“We are going to proceed to scale the weekly variety of samples sequenced as a part of our surveillance.”

In accordance with him, the chance of virus mutation is greater when there’s excessive transmission of the virus.

“Whereas sequencing is essential for us to grasp the scenario, handwashing, bodily distancing and the right use of face masks are essential to stop the unfold of the virus,” he additional pressured.

The NCDC boss mentioned that the September and October 2020 family prevalence surveys carried out in Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa and Gombe States revealed the extent of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among the many inhabitants.

“The findings from the survey present that the estimated prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies within the inhabitants is 23 per cent in Lagos and Enugu States, 19 per cent in Nasarawa State and 9 per cent in Gombe State.

“We’re nonetheless engaged on a greater understanding of SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19 and the length of immunity,” he mentioned.

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