Update: Deadly Indian COVID-19 strain surfaces in Nigeria

The COVID-19 strain which is presently causing India’s health crisis has been detected in Nigeria, Checkout Magazine learnt.

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.

The detection had been listed on GISAID, a global science initiative that provided open access to genomic data of influenza viruses.

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.”

Hapi, however, clarified that strain in India has two more mutations than the one identified in Nigeria which makes the one in India more aggressive.

“What we have is the B1.617 from India. That is the variant they had but that variant has now evolved beyond the mutation that we identified.

“The one India evolved by two mutations. It is the same strain with India but their own now has a couple of mutations. So, it is the same as what we detected but also different in characteristics.”

Recall that the Federal Government on Monday reimposed restrictions on gatherings at worship centres and banned nightclubs following reports that the infectious COVID-19 strain in South Africa had spread to 23 other countries.

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