A new COVID-19 variant has been discovered in Nigeria, according to officials.
If confirmed, it would be the latest mutant strain to be identified after similar discoveries in the UK and South Africa.
“It’s a separate lineage from the UK and South Africa,” the head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, John Nkengasong, told reporters.
Nkengasong said the Nigeria CDC and the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases will analyse more samples.
“Give us some time. It’s still very early,” he said.
The alert about the apparent new variant was based on two or three genetic sequences, he said South Africa’s alert late last week were enough to prompt an emergency meeting of the Africa CDC this week.
The news comes as the country is witnessing upsurge again in some parts of the African continent.
The new variant in South Africa is the predominant one there, Nkengasong said, as confirmed infections in the country approach a million.