South Africa – Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, announced the first cases of the new COVID-19 type on Wednesday, saying three passengers who had been to South Africa had been infected. Ghana, a West African neighbor, claimed it had also detected the novel Omicron form, with cases traced to Nigeria and South Africa.
Since the strain was initially reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in South Africa last week, cases of Omicron have been found in a number of countries, prompting border closures and travel restrictions. Ifedayo Adetifa, the Director-General of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, stated that “genomic surveillance has now detected and confirmed Nigeria’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variety,” adding that Adetifa stated contact tracing and “follow up to guarantee isolation… had begun.”
“Omicron is found all over the world… As a result, it’s a question of when, not if, we’ll find additional cases, “he stated. Ghana’s director-general of health services, said instances had been found at Accra’s international airport, with the majority of the patients arriving from South Africa and Nigeria. “The good news is that we haven’t seen any Omicron in the Ghanaian population in the community tests that we’ve done so far,” he said at the start of a vaccination program. However, the risk is that if someone has the Omicron and it’s incubating, it won’t be discovered at the airport.
At a meeting with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Ramaphosa reiterated his plea for countries to eliminate “unscientific” flight bans. With Buhari by his side, Obama told reporters, “This is a worldwide pandemic, and overcoming it requires that we collaborate and work together as a collective.” “This travel ban will have a significant and long-term impact on the economies of the countries impacted.”
France announced on Wednesday that it would allow flights from southern Africa to land on its soil on Saturday.But only with “strict” restrictions, allowing only French and European residents, diplomats, and flight crews to disembark.Those arriving will be required to take a COVID test, with a negative result requiring a seven-day confinement and a positive test requiring a ten-day quarantine, according to government spokesman Gabriel Attal.
According to official estimates, the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria has killed 2,976 individuals and infected 214,113, although the true numbers are likely to be substantially higher, owing to low testing rates. The West African country, which has a population of roughly 210 million people, has started vaccination campaigns and requires civil officials to provide proof of vaccinations or a negative test before entering public buildings. Vaccination rates, however, are still low, with slightly over 6.5 million people receiving one shot and around 3.5 million receiving two. By the end of next year, the government expects to have vaccinated about 112 million individuals, or 70% of the adult population.