The COVID-19 strain, which is currently wreaking havoc in India, has been discovered in Nigeria.
The strain was discovered nearly three weeks ago by the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases at Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State, and was reported to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
Following reports that the devastating COVID-19 strain in South Africa had spread to 23 other countries, the Federal Government on Monday restricted gatherings at worship centers and banned nightclubs.
The discovery of the Indian strain in Nigeria prompted the Federal Government to issue new regulations, according to the PUNCH on Tuesday.
The detection had been listed on GISAID, a global science initiative that provided open access to genomic data of influenza viruses.
Professor Christian Hapi of the ACEGID wrote to the NCDC on April 25, 2021, saying, “We have found five sequences of the India B.1.617 in the country, specifically in Edo and Osun states.”
However, The PUNCH has learned that subsequent observations have revealed that the strain has not yet displayed the same level of virulence as that seen in India, where 400,000 people were infected daily and 157 people died every hour.
Hapi said the information was sent to the NCDC two weeks ago, according to the reports on punch.
Hapi, however, clarified that the Indian strain has two additional mutations than the Nigerian strain, making it more aggressive.
“The B1.617 from India is what we have. That was their variant, but it has since evolved beyond the mutation we discovered.