Director-General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa disclosed this in a press release on Wednesday morning, December 1.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria also identified the omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021”.
Following the discovery, several countries including the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Israel among others have placed travel bans on southern African countries.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.
The NCDC however added that the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun. “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.
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 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.