Nigeria has confirmed a first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced.
The NCDC said in a statement on Wednesday that the variant was detected among two travellers from South Africa through genomic sequencing.
It said the two patients were asymptomatic and contact tracing had begun.
The NCDC said retrospective sequencing of previously confirmed cases among travellers to Nigeria had also identified the variant among a sample collected in October.
The Omicron variant, designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) was first detected in Botswana on November 11.
The WHO says the Omicron variant has more than 30 mutations on its spike protein that is more than what is carried by the delta strain raising concerns if prior infections still provide some immunity.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Most people who fall sick with COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate symptoms and recover without special treatment, however, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention.
The Ghana Health Service has advised that the public to adhered to all safety protocols such as the wearing of face mask, use of hand sanitizers, frequent washing of hands with soap under running water, social distancing, and the wearing of a face mask.