Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, on Monday, said a new variant of COVID-19 had been detected in Nigeria and 15 other countries.
He spoke in Abuja at the briefing of the PTF on COVID-19.
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He said the new strain, B.1.2.5, different from the highly infectious B.1.1.7, had, however, not been described as a variant of concern yet.
He said researchers and scientists were still working hard to understand if this variant had any effect on the virus transmissibility, immunity as well as diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
He also said between November 2020 and February 2021, Nigeria had confirmed 54 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in the country.
He said the NCDC was scaling up its sequencing capacity to have a better understanding of the burden of variants of concern in the country.
He said the risk of virus mutation was higher “when there’s high transmission of the virus.”