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New Covid-19 variants not in Nigeria – NCDC


The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has said that it is keeping an eye on the new subvariants of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but none of them have been detected in Nigeria so far.


In a press statement on Saturday, the NCDC said that the subvariants, EG.5 and BA.2.86, are descendants of the Omicron variant, first identified in South Africa in 2022 and has since spread to many countries.


“In addition, EG.5 has not been associated with any change in symptoms or a clinical manifestation and has not produced an increase in severity of illness and, or hospitalisations or difference in death rates in reporting countries.


“EG.5 causes symptoms like those seen with other COVID-19 variants, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle aches, headache, and sore throat. So far, only one case of EG.5 has been seen in Africa, it has not been identified in Nigeria,” a part of the statement read.


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified EG.5 as a variant of interest and BA.2.86 as a variant under monitoring due to the large number of mutations they carry.


The NCDC stated that EG.5 has been found in 51 countries, including China, the US, the UK, France, and Spain, but poses a low risk at the global level and has not been associated with any change in symptoms, severity, or death rates.


It also said that BA.2.86 has been reported in a few countries, such as the UK, Israel, Denmark, South Africa, and the US, but there is not enough information to assess its virulence, transmission, or impact.


The disease control agency further informed in the press statement that it is conducting genomics surveillance to monitor the circulation of variants in Nigeria and implementing an enhanced testing exercise in four states to obtain more detailed information.


It urged Nigerians not to panic and to continue observing COVID-19 preventive measures, especially for those at high risk, such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.