The COVID-19 strain, which is currently ravaging India, has been found in Nigeria. 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.
It is reported that the detection of the Indian strain in Nigeria contributed to the fresh regulations issued by the Federal Government. 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, the 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. Hapi said the information was sent to the NCDC two weeks ago.
Virologist and Chairman, Expert Review Committee on COVID-19, Professor Oyewale Tomori, said that he was also aware of the detection of the Indian strain. Tomori said it was important for the government to announce the detection of the Indian strain.
He further said there was a need to increase testing, adding that many states were no longer conducting test for COVID-19.
“The Indian strain is not as fierce in Nigeria yet but we are not doing enough testing,” Tomori said.