…New variant not in Nigeria – NCDC
The first lady of the United States, Jill Biden, has tested positive for COVID-19.
This development has reinforced suggestions and opinions that coronavirus is re-emerging in some countries.
A statement by the White House confirmed that Jill is experiencing “mild symptoms”.
It, however, noted that President Joe Biden tested negative.
Jill, 72, will remain at the family’s home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.
The First Lady’s spokesperson, Vanessa Valdivia said Jill will be “monitored by the White House medical team” after her diagnosis and follow the team’s advice about when to return to the White House.
Biden’s wife’s positive test result comes ahead of a busy week for the president.
He is due to travel to the G20 summit in India on Thursday, before a scheduled visit to Hanoi on Sunday for a one-day visit where he will meet Vietnamese leaders.
New variant not in Nigeria – NCDC
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), some days ago, said there was no evidence that the new sub-variants (descendants) of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, named EG.5 and BA.2.86 are in Nigeria yet.
It said it would continue to monitor the situation by conducting genomics surveillance even with the low testing levels and encouraging testing locations in states for appropriate action.
The agency said in a statement that as of 7th August 2023, the EG.5 had been reported in 51 countries including China, the United States of America, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, Spain etc.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), said it had classified EG.5 as a ‘variant of interest’ (VOI) and conducted a risk assessment which found this new variant poses a low risk at the global level.
So far, only one case of EG.5 has been seen in Africa, it has not been identified in Nigeria, it said.
It urged the media and the public to act responsibly and share only verified information.
It said: “There is no need to cause unnecessary anxiety and panic. As we have consistently advised, COVID-19 is here to stay and is now mainly a problem for those at high risk — the elderly, those with underlying chronic illnesses, especially hypertension, and diabetes, those on cancer treatment, organ transplant recipients, and those whose immune systems are suppressed for one reason or the other.
“The actions required to protect our friends, families, and selves remain the same as before: Get tested for any febrile illness and respiratory symptoms regardless of how mild. Prompt testing can help identify cases with a high risk of becoming severely ill and also provides samples for testing that provide information on circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants and disease trends.
“Ensure you and your loved ones make use of every opportunity the government has provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Vaccination protects against severe disease symptoms, hospitalisation, and death should you contract the virus.
“Continue the practice of good hand hygiene by washing hands regularly with soap under running water.
“Wear a mask if you have flu-like symptoms like coughing, sneezing, etc. If you are at risk of severe disease, use a mask in crowded and other high-risk situations.
“We continue to monitor situations around the globe and especially in countries where the new variant has been confirmed and keep Nigerians updated as may be required with scientifically and evidence-based information on any changes in SARS-COV-2 epidemiology and mics that may threaten public health.
“The recently discovered/reported BA.2.86 is a descendent lineage of BA.2 (a sublineage of Omicron, also found in Nigeria in 2022). As of August 23, 2023, the BA.2.86 variant had been reported in a handful of countries – the United Kingdom, Israel, Denmark, South Africa, and the United States. It has been classified by the WHO as a ‘variant under monitoring’ (VUM) because it has multiple genetic differences that make it substantially different from its ancestor, BA.2, and from other currently circulating XBB-derived SARS-CoV-2 variants.
“Since there are few cases identified so far, there is not enough information to make conclusive assessments of virulence, transmission, and severity. However, we do not expect it to be much different from other omicron descendants currently circulating. Although the ancestor, BA.2 has been previously found in Nigeria, no BA.2.86 variant has been identified in Nigeria.”Follow us on social media