24th December, 2021
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC said Friday the country has identified more cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, the Omicron variant of COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed infections of the variant to 51.
Ifedayo Adetifa, head of the NCDC, told reporters at a press briefing in Abuja, that the Omicron variant cases recorded recently were not ones from travel history.
He said they were locally contracted, which suggests that the country is already experiencing community transmission.
He said the six earlier Omicron cases were detected in people with recent travel history to South Africa.
According to him, no person in Nigeria has died of COVID-19 with the Omicron variant in the country.
He said Omicron has raised the number of confirmed cases in the country by 500 percent and has now become the dominant variant in the country.
The NCDC official stressed it was important for Nigerians to maintain physical distance and avoid contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
He advised Nigerians that further measures to curb the spread of Omicron were by “reducing group sizes, increasing physical distancing, reducing the duration of contacts, and closing high-risk premises.”
He warned indoor mixing was the biggest risk factor for the spread of Omicron, and that large gatherings risked creating multiple spreading events.