The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.
Director-General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa disclosed this in a press release on Wednesday morning, December 1.
The statement reads in part, “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.
“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria also identified the omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021”.
The NCDC said the two cases of the variant were discovered through genomic sequencing. They linked the cases to two passengers from South Africa.
The NCDC however added that the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.
The Omicron variant, a new strain of the coronavirus disease, was reported in South Africa and first detected in Botswana.
Following the discovery, several countries including the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Israel among others have placed travel bans on southern African countries.
Meanwhile, Canadian authorities have issued a travel ban on Nigeria in a bid to curb the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The announcement was made on Tuesday November 30. Other countries affected by the travel ban include South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, Malawi and Egypt.
Canadian Transport Minister, Omar Alghabra, has said foreign nationals who had been to these countries in the previous 14 days would be temporarily banned from entering Canada.
Alghabra added that Canadians and permanent residents who have been in the 10 countries, even those who are fully vaccinated, must also be tested before entering Canada.
This is coming as the Nigeria Center for Disease and Control (NCDC) announced that two cases of Omicron variant had been detected in the country.