There is a confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in Nigeria, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The variant, also called lineage B.1.617.2, was detected in a traveller who arrived in Nigeria on Thursday night.
According to NCDC, this followed a routine test required of all international travellers and genomic sequencing at the NCDC National Reference Laboratory in Abuja.
As a result of its increased transmissibility, the World Health Organization (WHO) considers the Delta variant to be a variant of concern.
Over 90 countries have detected the variant, and more are expected to follow.
Additionally, the variant has been linked to a spike in cases in countries where it is the dominant strain.
Several studies are underway to determine how the variant will affect existing vaccines and therapeutics.
In a statement, NCDC said it has been working with Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), African Centre for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), and other laboratories within the national network to perform genomic sequencing.
The purpose is to detect variants of concern and initiate response actions.
GISAID, the global facility for sharing sequencing data, has published all variant data collected in Nigeria. “Due to the global risk of spread of the Delta variant, positive samples from international travelers to Nigeria are sequenced regularly,” the statement said.
To limit the spread of the Delta variant, the centre recommends testing, following the existing public health guidance and adhering to the current travel and public restrictions.
The report urged all Nigerians to ensure strict adherence to public health and social measures.
The organization also called on states to ensure public access to sample collection and testing for COVID-19.