Biggest African nation Nigeria confirms its first recorded cases of Omicron

19:12, 01 December 2021
Biggest African nation Nigeria confirms its first recorded cases of Omicron Photo: Reuters

The African country of Nigeria has confirmed its first cases of the new Omicron strain, according to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control.

"The NCDC assumes Omicron is widespread globally given the increasing number of countries reporting this variant. Therefore, it is a matter of when, not if, we will identify more cases," the center said in a statement.

People infected with the new variant came from South Africa where the disease initially originated.

The NCDC previously said it identified the first cases of the Delta variant.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populated country and if Omicron settles there its spread around the continent will rapidly increase.

Currently only three cases were reported, however knowing how fast COVID-19 can spread it is possible that soon the number will be much higher.

Following the news Canada added Nigeria to the list of countries with entry restrictions as the cases recorded in the country all came from it.

Omicron is currently viewed by the World Health Organization as “of concern” and a special meeting was held by world’s countries in order to determine the next course of action in fighting the disease. 

Several countries including Japan and Israel have already closed their borders in order to prevent Omicron from spreading within them. 

Earlier, Moderna’s officials said that the vaccines against the new strain will be ready by 2022.