By Audrey Lotechukwu
TUE 26 JAN, 2021-theGBJournal- Genomic sequencing done in collaboration with the African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), the Redeemers’ University, Ede, Osun State has identified one COVID-19 positive case in Nigeria with the B. 1.1 .7, a deadly coronavirus variant first identified in the UK, the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, said Monday.
The variant is said to be 50% to 70% more contagious and one health expat tells theGBJournal that it could become the dominant strain in the country as it is today in the UK and the U.S. if it is not immediately and effectively manage.
The variant is thought to be 30% more deadly and could drive a substantial change in the transmission trajectory as the current variant in the country continues to increase.
However, Moderna, the biotechnology company, announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine worked effectively against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, first identified in the UK and Republic of South Africa, respectively. But health officials say the FG should have to firmly keep an eye on the new variant as it awaits vaccine arrival in the country.
Meanwhile, total confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country now totals 122, 996 with 1,507 fatalities. The NCDC say 98, 359 people has been discharged. The discharge Monday include 434 community recoveries in Lagos State and 184 community recoveries in Kaduna State managed in line with guidelines.