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NCDC Confirms 4 Cases Of UK COVID-19 Strain Found In Nigeria

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(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has disclosed that four Nigerians had tested positive of the United Kingdom (UK) COVID-19 strain.

Our correspondent reports that the UK COVID-19 strain is highly contagious and deadly.

Speaking on Monday in Abuja at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, ), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu stated that those that tested positive included three Nigerians who had travelled out of the country, while one was in the country.

He added that it was not surprising to find the new strain in the country given the frequency of travel between the UK and Nigeria.

He further said:

“In the last week, we have had three reports of the UK variant of interest, the B117 strain found in individuals that have left Nigeria to two other countries.

“When they were tested, this strain was found in them within a week of returning to Nigeria. This was reported to us through the international health regulations and it is most likely this strain was acquired in Nigeria.

“With our partners, the African Centre for Excellence in Genomics in Ede, we sent 50 samples to them and one of those samples had the UK variant linked to increased transmission.”

Dr Ihekweazu also stated that NCDC would keep intensifying its genomics surveillance and genomics sequencing, in collaboration with its partners, as shutting down international travel would not achieve much, so long as the virus was still prevalent in other countries.

Written by Tolulope Ogugua


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