Nigeria on Wednesday joined the growing number of countries that have recorded the first cases of the Omicron variant also known as B.1.1.529 lineage.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced this in a statement signed by the Director-General, Ifedayo Adetifa, on Wednesday morning.
The disease centre said the two cases of the variant were discovered through “genomic sequencing.”
It later clarified that three cases were confirmed and not two.
The emergence of Omicron variant of the Coronavirus which was identified in Botswana and South Africa, has raised concerns among scientists, health officials and the general public across the globe, especially in Nigeria.
Their concerns are due to an unusually high number of mutations that have the potential to make the virus more transmissible and less susceptible to existing vaccines.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has described it as a “variant of concern”, as the global body warned that the global risks posed by it were “very high”.
Omicron’s emergence is so recent that it may be a while before experts know whether it is more pathogenic. Scientists expect to learn much more in the coming weeks. At the moment, they say there is no reason to believe Omicron is impervious to existing vaccines, although they may turn out to be less protective to some unknown degree.