The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says there are about 55 lineages of the SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, currently circulating in the country.
The NCDC said this in a statement on Friday.
It said the lineages are changing rapidly, and are significant of the effects of community transmission of the coronavirus.
NCDC said: “As at February 14 2021, there are about 55 different lineages of SARS-CoV-2 known to be circulating in Nigeria and they are changing rapidly.
“The diversity of SARS-CoV-2 strains indicate multiple introductions of the virus into Nigeria from different parts of the world and adds to evidence of community transmission in different states of Nigeria.”
“On the 11th of February, some recent SARS-CoV-2 genomes were seen to have distinct mutations and characterised as a new variant B.1.525. As at the 17th of February, these have been reported from United Kingdom (44), Denmark (35), Nigeria (30), United States of America (12), Canada (5), France (5), Ghana (4), Australia (2), Jordan (2), Singapore (1), Finland (1), Belgium (1) and Spain (1).”
The World Health Organisation (WHO had identified 145 lineages across Africa.
The NCDC said the new Nigerian variant of COVID-19 is not yet a variant of concern, but further analysis is ongoing.
The agency said the first case of B1525, known as the UK variant, was detected in a sample collected on November 23, 2020, from a patient in Lagos state. It said so far 30 cases of B1525 have been confirmed in five states across Nigeria.