COVID-19: Dreaded B117 Variant Now In Nigeria – PTF - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Monday, February 8, 2021

COVID-19: Dreaded B117 Variant Now In Nigeria – PTF


ABUJA - 
Thirteen cases of the dreaded new strain of COVID-19, initially found in the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa, have been found in Nigeria, with six of the cases discovered in the last one week.


This was disclosed on Monday by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Pandemic and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha.

Mustapha, who also disclosed that the PTF had continued to sustain aggressive testing of citizens for COVID-19, however appealed to state governments to ensure that the laboratories that had been established in their domains are put to maximum use so as to reduce the burden on the National Reference Laboratory.

“The PTF (through the NCDC) is working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance. A total of 13 B117 variant strain have so far been detected in Nigeria.

“Six out of these numbers were detected in the last one week and they all came out of samples collected between November and January.

“Testing is still being aggressively pursued as a viable strategy and the PTF shall continue to appeal to not just the citizens to get tested but call on sub-national entities to ensure that capacity of the laboratories that have been established within their jurisdictions be fully maximized.

“This will help reduce the burden on the National Reference Laboratory and the attendant lengthy turnaround time for test results”, he said.

The SGF also warned that the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations 2021 signed by Mr. President is now fully operational.

“The PFT wishes to reiterate that the provisions contained in the Regulations are lucid and are applicable to all entities (public or private sectors).

“I therefore wish to remind all MDAs of the strong need to deploy technology for meetings, retreat, etc and to avoid large gatherings that may violate the Regulations. If such plans are on-going, they should be modified forthwith.

“The PTF considers the violation of protocols very seriously and urges international passengers arriving Nigeria to ensure compliance with the international travel protocols and observe the Non-Pharmaceutical Intervention measures while in-Country,” Mustapha said.

He also assured that the PTF (through the NCDC) is working with the Africa CDC on genomic surveillance.

He also said that the National snap shot for COVID-19 as at 7 February, 2021stood at 139,748 cases; active cases, 24,556 (17%); discharged, 113,525 (81.2%); deaths, 1,667 (1.2%) and the total tests being 1,398,630.



©The Nation 

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