The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has indicated that a new variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Nigeria and some other 15 countries.
Per what the agency said, the new strain, B.1.2.5 is different from the highly infectious B.1.1.7, however, it has not been described as a variant of concern yet.
The Director-General of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu made this known at the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday, February 22, in Abuja.
In his submission, 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.”