New COVID-19 Variant Discovered In Nigeria, 15 Other Countries
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that a new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Nigeria and 15 other countries.
The new strain, B.1.2.5, which is different from the highly infectious B.1.1.7 has, however, not been described as a variant of concern yet.
Disclosing this at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday in Abuja, the NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said that researchers and scientists were still working hard to understand if the variant had any effect on the virus’ transmissibility, immunity as well as diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
He said, “As we shared, a total of 54 cases with the B.1.1.7 variant strain, which is a variant of concern first described in the UK, have been detected in Nigeria.
“There is a new variant, the B.1.2.5, which we have begun to detect in Nigeria and 15 other countries. It is important to note that this variant has not been described as a variant of concern yet.
“Researchers and scientists are still working hard to understand if this variant has any effect on the virus transmissibility, immunity, as well as diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.
“This is because the variant has some similar mutations with the B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1 variants first detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, respectively.”
The NCDC boss stated that the agency was scaling up its sequencing capacity to have a better understanding of the burden of variants of concern in the country.
He noted: “Last week, we sent another 100 samples to our colleagues at the ACEGID lab in Ede, and we did 30 sequences in our lab at NCDC.
“We will continue to scale the weekly number of samples sequenced as part of our surveillance.”
According to him, the risk of virus mutation is higher when there is high transmission of the virus.
while sequencing is important for us to understand the situation, handwashing, physical distancing and the proper use of face masks are very important to prevent the spread of the virus,” he further stressed.
The NCDC boss said that the September and October 2020 household prevalence surveys carried out in Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa and Gombe States revealed the level of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies among the population.
“The findings from the survey show that the estimated prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in the population is 23 per cent in Lagos and Enugu States, 19 per cent in Nasarawa State and 9 per cent in Gombe State.
“We are still working on a better understanding of SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus that causes COVID-19 and the duration of immunity,” he said.
JUST IN: Son Of Chad President, Named Interim Head Of State
General Mahamat Kaka, the son of the deceased Chadian president, Idriss Deby has been named the interim Head of the State of the country.
Army Spokesman, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna announced this minutes after the death of Idriss Deby.
General Azem had earlier confirmed that the late President of Chad “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”.
Deby won his sixth term in provisional election results released on Monday.
The late President was shot dead at the war front while confronting some rebels.
Chad President Shot Dead
Chad President, Idriss Deby is dead.
Deby rmdied on Tuesday from injuries he sustained at the war front against some rebels.
He had led a brigade against rebels in the North of the country.
His death is coming after he won his re-election for a 6th term.
Army spokesman, General Azem Bermandoa Agouna confirmed his death on Tuesday.
A statement he read on state television said Deby “has just breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield”.
Deby, 68, won a sixth term in provisional election results released on Monday.
The late President postponed his victory speech and went to visit Chadian soldiers in the war front.
Why I Am Shocked And Saddened Over Killing In Chad – President Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that he is shocked and saddened in the wake of the ethnic clashes in the South Eastern Region of Salamat, Chad that claimed several lives.
Recall that ethnic tension in the central African country of Chad left at least 55 people dead and more than 40 injured as three villages were burned to the ground.
The clashes in the south-eastern region of Salamat erupted between different ethnic groups on Wednesday night in the villages around the provincial capital of Am Timan, according to Salamat governor Abel Yamabaye Massira.
However, Buhari extended heartfelt condolences to President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad over the incident.
“I am shocked and saddened by the incident that shattered decades of relative peace and stability in Chad,” Buhari said.
He added that “ethnic and tribal clashes is a threat to African unity and stability and Nigeria joins the rest of Africa to deplore the latest eruption of violence in Chad.”
The president underscored the need for African leaders and people to manage their diversity with tolerance and understanding.
He noted that “a threat to stability in one part of Africa is a threat to the rest of us.”
According to Buhari “given Africa’s economic and social challenges, we cannot afford mutual destruction that makes our challenges more complicated.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari also commiserates with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the government and people of Egypt over the train accident in Northern Cairo that killed dozens of people and injured 98 others.
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