NCDC confirms cases of Omicron in passengers from South Africa


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

NCDC director-general Ifedayo Adetifa announced the two Omicron cases were discovered through genomic sequencing and linked the cases to two passengers from South Africa.

Mr Adetifa added that both patients were asymptomatic, and contact tracing had begun.

“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,” Mr Adetifa explained on Wednesday.

He had earlier said the NCDC was analysing outbound and inbound travellers from countries with confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

This development came amidst several flight bans over the fear of spreading the new variant, which shows resistance to the vaccine and built up immunity.

The World Health Organisation has listed Omicron as a ‘variant of concern’ and said it could take several weeks to know if there are significant changes in transmissibility, severity or implications for COVID-19 vaccines, tests, and treatments.

On Tuesday, 42 cases of the Omicron variant were confirmed in 10 EU countries. Other countries like Botswana, Australia, Israel, Hong Kong and Belgium have also confirmed the presence of the variant.