Authorities shed more light on Nigeria’s new COVID-19 variant

A leading scientist who identified a new coronavirus variant in Nigeria has cautioned against comparisons with new variants found in South Africa and the UK. – BBC

Christian Happi, head of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics and Infectious Diseases in Nigeria, said more studies were needed to see whether the country’s new variant was linked to a recent spike in infections.

Nigeria’s new variant was found in two out of 200 samples collected between August and October.

South Africa said its new variant, which appears to be separate to a new variant found in the UK, could explain a recent increase especially affecting younger people. It has become the first country in Africa to register more than one million coronavirus cases.

Nigeria saw a 52% increase in cases last week, Reuters news agency reports. It has recorded more than 82,000 cases and 1,200 deaths since the pandemic began.