The new strain was first detected months ago in Osun State.
A new strain of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that grounded the global economy for all of 2020, has been identified in Nigeria.
The mutant variant was first identified in the United Kingdom (UK) and has caused several countries to ban flights from the UK.
It has also led the UK government to announce a slew of fresh restrictions and lockdowns.
Premium Times reports that this new strain has been identified in Nigeria by scientists at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), at the Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State.
In a publication in Virological, a website for the global Genomics community, the scientists say they found the same variant “lineage B.1.1.7” in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria since August 3, 2020, when the first sample was collected.
The UK first detected this new variant in September.
Another sample from Osun State, that was collected in October, correspondingly showed the presence of this new variant.
According to Christian Happi, Professor of molecular biology and genomics who is also the Director at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), “the B.1.1.7 lineage we found in Nigeria, predating the one described in the UK, has also been observed to rise rapidly in the UK over the past four weeks, indicating the plausible increased spread of the virus by specific non-synonymous mutations in the spike protein.” #news