Nigerian govt admits new strain of COVID-19 may be in country

Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has not ruled out the possibility of a new strain of COVID-19 in the country.

The index case was recorded in February this year, when an Italian man tested positive in Lagos State.

Since then, the number of infections have continued to grow steadily.

As of Thursday night, Nigeria had recorded 14,554 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Of that number, 4,494 patients have been discharged, while 387 have died.

Speaking at the daily media briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Thursday, Ehanire admitted the virus could have mutated.

“It was confirmed to be the same strain as what was circulating in Italy and China. So, we raised the question whether there has been mutation since then in people coming from other areas.

“I don’t have any information on that yet, but it is suspected that it is possible.

“It is not yet updated but I’m sure that research centres in Yaba, Lagos and the one in Ede, are trying to do a sequencing that will show us whether all these viruses are the same or whether they have a different sequencing,” he said.

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