The director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), John Nkengasong has confirmed that another new variant of the novel coronavirus has emerged in Nigeria.
The development comes not long after South Africa and the UK reported the emergence of new variants of the virus that appear to be more contagious, leading to new travel restrictions.
Speaking to an online news conference in Ethiopia, Addis Ababa, John Nkengasong said the new variant is “a separate lineage from the UK and the South African lineages.”
Nkengasong noted that Nigeria CDC and the African Center of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in that country – Africa’s most populous – will be analysing more samples.
“Give us some time … it’s still very early,” he said.
The news comes at a time that Nigeria is battling a second wave of the virus with a 52 percent increase in confirmed cases while South-Africa recorded a 40 per cent increase.
It is worthwhile to note that Nigeria has more than 80,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
The African continent has more than 2.5 million confirmed cases, or 3.3 percent of global cases.