Indian dangerous COVID-19 strain ‘surfaces’ in Nigeria

The COVID-19 strain, which is currently ravaging India, has been found in Nigeria, The Punch has learnt.

The strain was detected by the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in the Redeemers University, Ede, Osun State nearly three weeks ago and has been communicated to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Recall that the Federal Government on Monday restricted gatherings at worship centres and banned nightclubs following reports that the devastating COVID-19 strain in South Africa had spread to 23 other countries.

Punch was informed on Tuesday that the detection of the Indian strain in Nigeria contributed to the fresh regulations issued by the Federal Government.

The detection had been listed on GISAID, a global science initiative that provided open access to genomic data of influenza viruses.

A notification dated April 25, 2021, sent by Professor  Christian Hapi of the ACEGID to the NCDC read in part, “We have found five sequences of the India B.1.617 in the country, specifically in Edo and Osun states.”

However, Punch learnt that subsequent observations showed that so far, the strain had not shown the same kind of viciousness displayed in India where 400,000 persons were infected daily and 157 died per hour.

Speaking with one of Punch correspondents, Hapi said the information was sent to the NCDC two weeks ago.

Hapi, however, clarified that strain in India has two more mutations than the one identified in Nigeria which makes the one in India more aggressive.

-Punch

About Delia Innoma

Delia Innoma is a prolific writer, promoter, artist manager with full professional proficiency in English, German and Igbo languages. She studied accounting and computer programming at the Institute of Management and Technology Enugu and Germany respectively. Delia is also a devoted mother of two and she founded the Diamond Celebrities Magazine. Her sense of responsibility and commitment to the Christian faith are essential forces driving her daily activities.

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