COVID-19 still circulating in Nigeria, Tomori warns
Foremost virologist, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, yesterday, warned that COVID-19 is still circulating in Nigeria, advising the authorities to urgently address the situation.
He said an update from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that at least two cases of a new COVID-19 virus subvariant, BA.2.86, have been identified in the U.S., prompting the centre to issue a risk-assessment summary on August 23, explaining what is known about it so far.
Tomori said cases of the new variant have been reported globally, and scientists are concerned that built-up immunity and vaccinations may not work.
He submitted that all viruses change over time, including the virus that causes COVID-19, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The virologist said these changes can affect how contagious the virus is, how severely it affects people, and how it responds to treatment
Tomori, who was chairman, Minister of Health’s Committee on COVID-19, said the good news is that the United Kingdom (UK) and U.S. laboratories “will let us know when they report the number of Nigerians arriving in their countries, and who are positive for the variant.”
He added: “Why? Because our labs stopped testing anybody for COVID-19 about a year ago. Up until September 11, 2022, our Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was listing approximately 60 labs, either not testing at all, or testing, but not reporting.
“I think NCDC stopped listing such non-performing labs to save space for more important listings on their website.
“So, please be on the lookout for foreign lab reports of Nigerians positive for COVID-19.”
Also, The Guardian received a circular yesterday where the management of National Obstetric Fistula Centre Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, was warning its staff to take all precautionary measures because of a strange cold virus circulating in the hospital community.
The circular was signed by the Head of Clinical Services, Dr. Yakubu E. N.
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