COVID-19 Variant: Experts Seek Mass Testing To Prevent Spread

Virologists and other medical experts urges the federal and state governments to ensure mass testing to prevent the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 in communities.

The experts, including a prominent virologist, Prof Oyewale Tomori;  a lecturer at the Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State,  Dr Oladipo Kolawole; a former first Vice President,  National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, Julian Ojebo, and the Chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in the Federal Capital Territory, , Dr Enema Amodu, also urged Nigerians to strictly observe COVID-19 protocols.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control Director-General, Dr Chikwe Iheakwazu, in a press conference in Abuja, says a new variant of COVID-19 had been discovered in Nigeria and 15 other countries.

Recall that there was a report on February 15 that the United Kingdom had reported new cases of a variant of the coronavirus, said to have emerged from Nigeria.

The Guardian of London quoted an associate professor of cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, Simon Clarke, as  explaining that the new mutation might  affect the efficacy of vaccines.

Tomori, says other countries might  ban Nigerian travellers as a result of the new mutants being discovered in the country.

noting there was the need for the country to increase its testing capacities.

The virologist said, if the numbers of Nigerian passengers with the mutants keep increasing and if the strains turn out to spread and cause severe disease, certainly, there might be a ban of Nigerians travelling to the United Kingdom and other countries. We have not reached that stage yet, but it is a possibility, the UK government is definitely much more proactive on, and responsive to matters of the health of her citizens.

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