Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday announced the country’s health authorities have conducted over 1,489,103 COVID-19 tests since March of last year, reported Anadolu Agency.
The NCDC reported 571 new cases in tests conducted on Tuesday as well as 12 new deaths. A total of 153,187 cases have been reported, 129,943 cases have been discharged and 1,874 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria.
The NCDC also announced the inclusion of the Ondo State Public Health Laboratory to the NCDC Molecular Laboratory Network.
According to the center’s latest figures, the Ondo State ranked ninth among the most-affected Nigerian states by the novel virus with 21 confirmed cases. Notably, coronavirus testing at any public laboratory in the NCDC network is free of charge.
The update came amid recent reports claiming that an unknown virus strain, dubbed B.1.525 of the COVID-19 that is different from the UK variant was detected in Nigeria.
In an earlier report, the NCDC said the new variant has been detected among cases in five states in Nigeria. The disease control agency said B.1.525 cases have also been reported in other countries in travelers from Nigeria.
According to NCDC, researchers are performing studies to check if the new coronavirus variant has any impact on the patient’s immunity, diagnostic severity, and transmissibility. Studies are also being conducted to find if already approved vaccines are effective against the new variant.
As far as coronavirus vaccine is concerned, Nigerian regulators, last week approved a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford for emergency use in the West African nation.
“The Serum Institute of India Ltd. on Feb. 10 submitted a dossier on the Covishield vaccine, which it is producing under license from AstraZeneca, and it was found to be safe and well-tolerated in adults above 18 years of age,” the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control said in a statement last week.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has also promised to support Nigeria in procuring, distributing, and administering Covid-19 vaccines.