Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu addressing the press at the presentation of 15,000 COVID-19 test kits to NCDC by UNICEF in Abuja on Tuesday, Sept 29, 2020. [Twitter-@NCDCgov]

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said it has found six more cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in the country. This brings the total number of people who have tested positive to the variant in Nigeria to 13.

The B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was first detected in the United Kingdom and has since spread to other parts of the world.

The Director-General of NCDC, Chikwe Iheakwazu, while speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Monday, said the six new cases were detected in Lagos State by scientists at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), at the Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State.

“Last week we detected six additional samples of the B.1.1.7 variants in Lagos state,” Mr Ihekweazu said.

“We already have five cases in Osun State, One in Kwara and one in the Federal Capital Territory, in total we have 13 cases.”

Mr Ihekweazu noted that the infectious disease body is working very closely with ACEGID to detect more cases of the variant which has triggered the current spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in the UK, leading to a travel ban on the UK by some countries and a stay at home order.

Over 45 countries have so far identified the UK variant, with experts warning that more countries could report sharp increases in cases in the coming weeks, the BBC reported.

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