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COVID-19: WHO urges vigilance as FG allays fears

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The World Health Organisation, on Wednesday, said China’s recent COVID-19 outbreak is predominantly led by the Omicron subvariants BA.5.2 and BF.7.

The WHO disclosed this in a press statement, a copy of which was obtained by The PUNCH.

 The organisation said the subvariants account for 97.5 per cent of all local infections.

It said it would continue to monitor the situation in China and globally and urged all countries to continue to be vigilant.

The statement read in part, “WHO will continue to closely monitor the situation in the People’s Republic of China and globally and urges all countries to continue to be vigilant, to monitor and report sequences, as well as to conduct independent and comparative analyses of the different Omicron sublineages, including on the severity of disease they cause.

“At this time, the TAG-VE is also evaluating the rapidly increasing proportion of XBB.1.5 in the United States and other countries. An updated risk assessment of XBB.1.5, beyond the previous statement, is in progress.

“The TAG-VE meets regularly and continues to assess the available data on the transmissibility, clinical severity, and immune escape potential of variants, including the potential impact on diagnostics, therapeutics, and the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing infection and/or severe disease.”

Meanwhile, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has said that the country recorded 35 new cases of COVID-19 infections in the last week of December 2022.

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the centre stated on its website on Wednesday that 22 of the cases were recorded in the FCT; 10 were recorded in Lagos State; two were recorded in Delta, while one was recorded in Plateau.

The cases were recorded between December 24 and December 30, 2022, it added.

The new cases increased Nigeria’s total infections to 266,450 and 3,155 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019.

The NCDC has however said the COVID-19 Omicron sub-lineages partly responsible for the current increase in COVID-19 cases in China, the United States and the United Kingdom have not yet been detected in the country.

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