The Nigeria Centre For Disease Control(NCDC) has said that 10 cases of the Delta COVID-19 variant have been identified in the country.
Chikwe Ihekweazu, director-general, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control disclosed this at the ministerial briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja.
“With sequencing efforts, we have detected 10 cases which are confirmed to be the delta variant. What we do is collect samples from the travellers. Most of the cases are from travellers coming into Lagos and Abuja,” he said.
“Once they come in, we collect samples,” said the director-general who was represented by Elsie Ilori, director of disease surveillance department, NCDC.
“The symptoms that it possesses are not like what we are used to, so that is why we need to be more careful”, he added.
Ihekweazu also disclosed that the test positivity rate for COVID-19 has increased to 24 percent from the rate sustained in previous weeks.
He assured that the agency is working hard to ensure genomic surveillance of traveller’s samples and to scale up genomic sequencing capacity.
The DG further informed that Lagos state continues to have the highest contribution to the current caseload in the country.
According to him, states which have recorded an increase in cases include Akwa Ibom, Ekiti, Oyo and Rivers states.
“Akwa Ibom had a sudden surge in cases in the last week and so, we have deployed a Rapid Response Team to support the state’s response activities, The team will support Akwa Ibom’s Emergency Operations Centre incident management systems, ensure smooth running of samples collection centres, laboratory cases detection and general coordination,” he said.
The Delta variant is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a variant of concern, given its increased transmissibility.
The variant has been detected in over 90 countries and is expected to spread to more countries. Nigeria reported the first case of the variant on July 8.
The variant has been linked to a surge in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain in circulation. There are ongoing studies to understand the impact of the variant on existing vaccines and therapeutics.