FG advised to shut down airports for two weeks after Indian variant of COVID-19 is found in two states

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The Federal Government of Nigeria has been advised to shut down the country’s international airport for at least 2 weeks after Indian variant of COVID-19 was found in Edo and Osun state.

This advisory was made by the Academy of Medicine Specialties in Nigeria on Sunday, April 25,

According to the President of the Academy, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, the transmission of the third wave is still active but not at an alarming level.

He also revealed that the academy found five sequences of the India B.1.617 in two states – Edo and Osun state, adding that a new B.1. 1.318 variant with major characteristics of other VOCs that emerged in Nigeria in January was already causing havoc in Mauritius.

“The B. 1. 525 that we discovered in Nigeria late last year is now the dominant variant in Nigeria (spreading faster than the UK B.1.1.7). This lineage is also spreading at a super-fast speed in the UK and other European countries.

The B.1.525 is now also the second most popular variant in Africa after the B.1.351Y V2 from South Africa. These are our most recent findings at ACEGID, Redeemer’s University, Ede,” he explained.

He went on to advise the Government to close the international airports for at least 2 weeks, stressing that the third wave is already affecting India, France, Germany and Italy.

He pointed out that the ongoing transmission is caused by those inbound passengers from India and other countries with a spike in the daily cases.

According to Prof. Ashiru, many of the passengers came into Nigeria through “indirect” flights. He, then, called on the FG to take proactive actions to prevent a third wave in Nigeria.

“Nigeria cannot afford to have a third wave. Only a small percentage of the population has been vaccinated. Furthermore, all the theories speculated for our immunity such as heat, sun, and other endemic immunities also apply to India,” he said.

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