A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed EU flag and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

Nigeria has confirmed two cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in international travellers arriving the country.

The first confirmation was in a traveller who arrived from South Africa last week, in the wake of routine travel testing of all international travellers.

The positive test prompted retrospective genomic sequencing of samples taken from travellers in October, leading to the second confirmed case of Omicron, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Wednesday.

Both travellers did not show symptoms but have been “linked to clinical care”, the centre said.

Individuals who may have come in contact with them are being traced.

And their countries of origin are to be notified to begin in-country response.

The World Health Organisation has recently classified Omicron as a variant of concern, since it was identified in South Africa.

It is the latest variant of COVID-19 to emerge since the pandemic began.

The symptoms are not thought different from other variants, but it is believed this variant may be more transmissible.

“The NCDC assumes this variant is widespread globally with possible community

Transmission ongoing in Nigeria,” the centre said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Our focus remains to prioritise the genomic sequencing of recently accrued samples of SARS-COV-2 positive travellers from all countries ,especially those from countries that have reported the OmicronVariant already.”

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