The Nigeria Heart for Illness Management (NCDC) has introduced {that a} new variant of COVID-19 has been found in Nigeria and 15 different nations.

The brand new pressure B.1.2.5, which differs from the extremely infectious pressure B.1.1.7, has not but been described as a variant of concern.

Chikwe Ihekweazu, director basic of the NCDC, shared this with the President’s Activity Power on COVID-19 Briefing in Abuja on Monday, saying that researchers and scientists have been nonetheless working laborious to know whether or not the variant had any impression on portability and impression Virus immunity in addition to diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

He stated, “As we shared, a complete of 54 circumstances have been detected in Nigeria with the variant pressure B.1.1.7, which was first described within the UK.

“There’s a new variant, the B.1.2.5, which we found in Nigeria and 15 different nations. It is very important be aware that this variant has not but been described as a questionable variant.

“Researchers and scientists are nonetheless working laborious to know whether or not this variant has an impression on virus transmissibility, immunity, diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

“It is because the variant has some comparable mutations to variants B.1.1.7, B.1.351 and P.1, which have been first detected within the UK, South Africa and Brazil.”

The NCDC chief stated the company is growing its sequencing capability to higher perceive the pressure of worrying variants within the nation.

He famous: “Final week we despatched one other 100 samples to our colleagues within the ACEGID laboratory in Ede and ran 30 sequences in our laboratory on the NCDC.

“We’ll proceed to scale the weekly variety of samples sequenced as a part of our monitoring.”

In keeping with him, the danger of virus mutation is increased when there’s excessive transmission of the virus.

“Whereas sequencing is vital for us to know the scenario, hand washing, bodily distancing and the correct use of face masks are essential to stop the virus from spreading,” he added.

The NCDC chief stated that family prevalence surveys performed within the states of Lagos, Enugu, Nasarawa and Gombe in September and October 2020 confirmed the degrees of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies within the inhabitants.

“The survey outcomes present that the estimated prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies within the inhabitants is 23 % in Lagos and Enugu states, 19 % in Nasarawa state and 9 % in Gombe state.

“We’re nonetheless engaged on a greater understanding of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and the length of immunity,” he stated.

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