The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in Nigeria.
The variant was discovered in two passengers, who arrived the country from South Africa.
It reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Omicron as a variant of concern.
Director-General, NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, who disclosed this in a statement, said the two cases of the variant were discovered through genomic sequencing, adding that the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.
Adetifa said, “In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.
“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week. Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria also identified the omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021.”