The fear on Nigerians were confirmed on Wednesday morning when the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the country.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said in a press release that two cases of the variant were discovered through genomic sequencing, linking them to two passengers from South Africa.
Adetifa added that the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.
The Omicron variant, a new strain of the coronavirus disease, was reported by South Africa and first detected in Botswana.
The statement read in part, “In line with the routine travel tests required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control through its National Reference Laboratory, Abuja, confirms Nigeria’s first case of the Omicron variant.
“Genomic sequencing of positive cases from routine day two testing for travellers to Nigeria identified two cases of Omicron variant among travellers from South Africa who arrived in Nigeria last week.
“Retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travelers to Nigeria also identified the omicron variant among samples collected in October 2021”.
Recall that Canada had said it discovered two cases of the variant from two passengers from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, countries like the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Israel among others placed travel bans on southern African countries.