The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reports confirming the country’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variant.
Samples obtained for the stipulated day two test for all travelers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with history of travel to South Africa. These cases were recent arrivals in the country in the past week.
Follow up to ensure isolation, linkage to clinical care, contact tracing and other relevant response activities have commenced. Arrangements are also being made to notify country where travel originated according to the provisions of the International Health Regulations.
Since reports of the emergence of this Omicron variant, the Federal Ministry of Health through the NCDC has intensified public health response measures to COVID-19 in Nigeria. The national travel advisory has also been revised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and now requires all inbound travelers to Nigeria present a negative COVID-19 test result done not more than 48hrs before departure. Pre-booking and payment for all day 2 and day 7 COVID-19 PCR tests are prerequisites for travel. In addition, all outbound passengers regardless of the requirements of destination countries are expected to present evidence of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test done not later than 48 hours before departure.
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