The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced that 75 health workers across the country tested positive for Covid-19 during the past week and have also detected additional six B.1.1.7 variant in the country at the African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) at Redeemers University.
This was disclosed by Director-General, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, at the national briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.
“First, I’ll like to address the increasing number of COVID-19 cases among healthcare workers themselves.
“In the last one week, 75 healthcare workers were infected, but we can reduce this risk.
“For healthcare workers, please maintain a high index of suspicion at all times. We need you alive and well,” he said.
He added that the FG would launch Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs) in more health facilities over the next one month, to protect healthcare workers.
“We remain deeply grateful for the efforts and commitment of healthcare workers across the country,” he added.
On the new variants, the NCDC DG disclosed that the FG in partnership with ACEGID discovered six new samples.
“On January, 30, our partners at ACEGID detected the B.1.1.7 variant in six additional samples – five from Osun and one from Kwara State. This is the variant of concern that first emerged in the UK.
“The five in Osun is most likely related to the fact that this is where ACEGID is and where they get a lot of samples from. In total, we have detected the B.1.1.7 variant in seven cases within Nigeria.
“This could imply community transmission of this variant of concern. We are currently scaling up on genomic surveillance, working very closely with ACEGID.
“We are developing a protocol to sequence more samples from across states at ACEGID and our sister-agency, NIMR. This is in addition to our capacity at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory,” Ihekweazu said.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that Recent research findings suggest that the new coronavirus variants would likely pose a big challenge for the vaccines, as revealed by studies by several medical researchers.
- Researchers took antibodies from six people who were hospitalized with Covid-19 before the new variant was discovered. They found to varying degrees, that the antibodies for all six of the survivors were unable to fully fight off the virus.