A virologist, Prof. Mathew Kolawole, has revealed that research reported a strain of coronavirus in Nigeria in 2017.
The Director of the Institute of Molecular Sciences and Biotechnology at the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), said this in a chat with newsmen on Monday.
Kolawole, who was recently appointed into the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19, stated that the virus had been with humanity for a while.
“It is not new to us, this virus has been with us. It is just that we have this novel strain of coronavirus which is in circulation globally. We reported coronavirus OC’23 strain in Nigeria”, NAN quoted him as saying.
Speaking on transmission modes, the University don said from the 2017 study and investigation, over-crowding was found to be responsible for the spread of the disease.
Kolawole emphasised the need to enforce social distancing guidelines as stipulated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“We need to look at the transmission modes of the virus, particularly the one that has to do with overcrowding. Part of the study/investigation that we did in 2017 established that factor.”
The expert appealed to Nigerians to adhere strictly to all precautions to forestall the transmission of the pandemic.
“We need to be careful, follow all the indoor precautions, particularly the ones that have to do with the spread of the virus.”
The virologist regretted that some citizens still do not believe that coronavirus is real.
Kolawole further warned that the COVID-19 strain in Nigeria was, in fact, a”severe strain”.