Port on standby over new COVID-19 variant

The Port Health Services (PHS) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, is on standby to prevent the importation of the new COVID-19 variant into the country.

A week ago, the World Health Organisation (WHO) placed the new COVID-19 variant (BA.2.86) under monitoring due to the multiple mutations it presents after a few sequences of the variant were reported across Israel, Denmark, and the United States.

Recently, the variant was reported in Switzerland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom (UK).

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, the Officer-in-Charge, Omede Ogu, said information on the new variant has been placed on the PHS emergency platform, and other agencies have been informed.

Ogu explained that personnel were on the ground, and cameras on the tarmac captured the body temperature of passengers when they alighted from the plane while structures were constantly reviewed.

He, however, urged Nigerians not to panic, assuring them that the situation was under control.

New versions of the Omicron COVID variant,
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is monitoring the new Omicron COVID variant, named EG.5 and BA.2.86.

It explained that EG.5 comes from XBB.1.9.2, which is connected to Omicron.

As of August 7, 2023, EG.5 was found in 51 countries, including China and the US.

The WHO called it a “variant of interest” with low global risk.

It’s symptoms are like other COVID types, with no major severity increase or death rate change. Africa saw one case, none in Nigeria.

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