COVID: NCDC announces 197 infections, 2 deaths as Omicron variant hits 38 countries

The Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has announced  two additional fatalities from the coronavirus on Friday with 197 fresh cases reported across five states and the Capital Territory (FCT).

The NCDC  made the disclosure in its daily report on  Saturday morning .

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 197 additional cases reported on Friday  indicate an increase from the 47 cases reported in the country on Friday, Dec. 3.

NAN reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had said that  the  omicron variant, detected in 38 countries, appears to be more contagious than the delta variant.

The organisation had  said there was  a suggestion of increased transmissibility adding that , “what we need to understand is it’s more or less transmissible compared to delta.

“Omicron has some mutations on the spike protein, which is the mechanism used to bind to human cells.

“Some of these mutations are associated with higher transmission and the ability to escape immune protection,” WHO had said.

Meanwhile the Nigerian Public Health Institute said the country’s fatality from the disease stood at 2,980.

The NCDC added that till date, 214, 513 cases had been confirmed with  207,403 cases discharged and 2,980 deaths recorded in 36 states and the Capital Territory.

“The 197 States- Lagos (138), Rivers (23), FCT (18), Imo (15), Bauchi (1), and Gombe (1),”It stated

The Nigerian Public Health Institute said  that a multi-sectoral national emergency centre (EOC), activated at Level 2, continues to coordinate the national response activities.

The agency added that a total of 3,580,510 blood samples have been tested since the began across the country. 

NAN recalls that since the reports of the emergence of this Omicron variant in the country , the Ministry of Health through the NCDC, has intensified public health response measures to in the country.

Meanwhile,  South African scientists found that omicron is associated with a “substantial ability” to re-infect people who already had COVID-19 , compared with past variants of the virus.

The study, published by the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, has not yet been peer reviewed.(NAN)