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PTF ON COVID-19 REVEALS NEW B.1.2.5 COVID-19 DETECTED IN NIGERIA

The PTF on COVID-19 has revealed that a new COVID-19 variant has been detected in the country and 15 other countries.

The new strain, B.1.2.5, which is different from­ the highly infectious B.1.1.7 has, however, not been described as a variant of concern yet.

Disclosing this at the PTF briefing in Abuja, NCDC Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, said researchers and scientists are still working hard to understand if the variant has any effect on the virus’ transmissibility, immunity, as well as diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics.

The NCDC boss stated that the agency is scaling up its sequencing capacity to have a better understanding of the burden of variants of concern in the country.

Meanwhile, the PTF Chairman, Mr. Boss Mustapha urged Nigerians not to procure uncertified COVID-19 vaccines from the black market.

He said, the PTF has been assured that Nigeria will receive the initial four million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines very soon.

In his speech, Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire hinted that Nigeria may soon exit the second wave of the coronavirus disease.

He said the country has been recording a decline in the number of COVID-19 cases noting that the decreased positivity rate from sustained testing in states, is synonymous with global trends.L

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