By John Ikani
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control NCDC has confirmed the detection of the Delta COVID-19 variant in the country.
The confirmation was contained in a statement issued by the NCDC on Thursday.
According to the statement, the newly detected variant also called lineage B.1.617.2 was confirmed after a traveller tested positive for it in the country.
The development followed the compulsory test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory, in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The NCDC, however, assured Nigerians that the federal government has put measures in place to combat the disease, asking them to adhere to the recommended safety protocols.
“Proven public health and social measures such as physical distancing, frequent handwashing, and proper use of face masks, prevent infections and save lives,” it added.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective and offers protection against the disease.”
What you should know
The Delta variant of Covid-19 has was described by World Health Organisation (WHO) Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus as “the most transmissible” mutation to date.
According to WHO’s Technical Lead on COVID-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, the Delta variant has proved “extremely contagious in any country it reaches.”
“The delta variant can make the epidemic curve exponentially,” Ms Kerkhove said.
But delta is not the only worrying mutation. According to the WHO expert, “there is a constellation of variants circulating,” including sub-variants, four of which are very worrying.
Limitations of vaccines and panacea
Kerkhove said “Vaccines and treatments work, but these viruses can evolve and the existing shots “may not work” over time, emphasising again that to minimise outbreaks, everyone must continue to maintain public health measures.
“One of the most important ways WHO coordinates the response to COVID-19 and other emergencies is through its global network of emergency medical teams (EMTs).