India’s COVID-19 variant giving Nigeria sleepless nights

The Nigerian government has resolved to introduce additional control measures to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 strain in India to Nigeria.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this on Sunday said the issue would be a subject of discussion at the ministerial experts’ committee meeting on Monday (today).

India is currently witnessing what has been described as a devastating second wave of COVID-19 with confirmed cases and deaths increasing in the past weeks.

The country is said to recording more than a quarter million cases per day.

One of the new variants circulating in India is referred to as the “double mutant” though it is officially called B.1.617.

With many Indians in Nigeria and the fact that the index case of the virus in the country was an Italian, there are concerns that the Indian strain may find its way into Nigeria if proper control measures are not put in place.

When asked by a correspondent of The Punch newspapers, on Sunday, about the efforts being made by the Federal Government to prevent the strain from entering Nigeria.

Ehanire said it had been resolved that additional control measures be put in place, but did not disclose the details.

He however said the issue would form discussions at a meeting holding on Monday (today).

“We resolved to add additional control measures; but we shall discuss all ideas tomorrow (Monday) at the ministerial expert committee meeting,” the minister simply said.

India is said to have overtaken Brazil to become the second-most affected country in the world.

With second wave of wreaking havoc in India, a third mutation in this B.1.617 strain has now been identified in at least four states.

Two of these triple-mutant varieties have been found in samples collected from Maharashtra, Delhi, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh.

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