Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
Director General of the Nigerian Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu said the mutant strain of COVID-19 was not found in the country in the United Kingdom.
He said that the NCDC performed a certain sequence in the past, but did not find a variant that was said to be more deadly than the original strain of the virus.
Speaking Thursday during a press briefing of the presidential working group on COVID-19 in Abuja, Ihekweazu said the viruses are mutating in nature, noting that the most important thing is to keep people calm and safe.
He said, “Over the last few days we have been following reports of virus mutations in the UK, South Africa and some other countries, but it is important to establish some facts about what we know, what we don’t know and what we are. willing to learn over the next few years.
“The most important fact that needs to be stated in order to calm everyone’s nerves is that viruses are constantly mutating.
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“We did not find that strain in Great Britain, but it is also not something we were looking for on the move. To find this, you need to do sequencing. And our focus was not on sequencing. We’ve done a series of sequences in the past, but we haven’t found that. “
“We found only two similar ones, but not the same ones. However, we do more order. Is it possible for them to circle? Yes. That’s because there’s a lot of travel between the UK and Nigeria, ”he added.
Iheakwazu said the NCDC will work with stakeholders to collect new sequencing samples to determine their variant.
He remarked, “This is a continuous business. That can’t happen in a hurry. It is very complex. Sequencing is not a direct business, which is why we only have a few centers that can do that. “
He also called on states to reopen their testing centers, saying the NCDC alone cannot conduct all tests on COVID-19 sent from states.
According to him, the center has been working on adopting the use of a rapid diagnostic test kit from next year in order to increase testing in the country.
He said, “The light at the end of the tunnel is being tested. By next year, we will introduce the use of a quick test kit. We have made a significant purchase that is coming in January and through that we will bring testing closer to people far from the laboratory. ”