South-African President Cyril Ramophosa on Wednesday paid a courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Upon his artival at about 10a.m, Ramaphosa was received by his host, President Buhari and was treated to a 21-gun salute by guards of honour at the Villa.
Moments after the state visit, the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC confirmed the first 3 cases of the South-African Omicron variant in Nigeria.
The deadly variant was detected in travellers who arrived Nigeria from South Africa in the past week.
Commenting on the recent development, the Director General of the NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa said the samples obtained for the stipulated day-two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa.
Adetifa re-iterated that strict follow up measures to ensure isolation, linkage to clinical care, contact tracing and other relevant response activities have commenced.
According to him, arrangements are also being made to notify the country where travel originated, according to the provisions of the International Health Regulations.
He said the NCDC assumes Omicron is widespread globally given the increasing number of countries reporting this variant and therefore, it is a matter of when, not if, we will identify more cases.
Adetifa added that since reports of the emergence of the Omicron variant, the Federal Ministry of Health, through the NCDC has intensified public health response measures to COVID-19 in Nigeria.