Kano Health Commissioner Gives Reasons Why COVID-19 New Variant is Deadlier

Admin 05-Feb-2021 Coronavirus

Kano State Commissioner of Health Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa has explained why the new variant of COVID-19 is deadlier than the original virus.

Tsanyawa, who gave updates on the COVID-19 situation in Kano yesterday at a news conference at the state Ministry of Health, noted that the virus changes in 17 ways as it moves from one person to another

“Viruses change all the time. As they copy themselves and jump from host to host, they make mistakes in this copying process called mutations.

“A new variant of the coronavirus found, called P.1, had 17 key changes, compared to the original.

“One of these, the N501Y mutation, is also present in the variant first identified in the United Kingdom (UK), which has made the virus more contagious

“The other big change was the E484K mutation that makes things more difficult for our antibodies. The E484K is called an escape mutation as it helps the virus escape our antibodies and in so doing, the virus easily and insatiably slips past our immune defences and makes us sick,” Dr. Tsanyawa said.

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) also announced it has found six cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in the country – the variant currently causing anxiety in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

“This is the variant of concern that first emerged in the UK,” said the Director-General of NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Iheakwazu, while speaking at a news conference by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

The state health commissioner announced that the Coronavirus death toll has hits 84, raising anxiety in the ancient state. The entire country has recorded 135,000 cases, with 1,623 deaths as at yesterday, according to NCDC.

“In Kano State, as at today (Thursday), we have so far had 65,672 initial samples tested with 3,129 cases recorded and treated successfully 2,632 patients with 413 active cases receiving care.

“Unfortunately, we’ve lost 84 lives to the menace of the pandemic since the index case of COVID-19 was confirmed on April 11, 2020 in a person who arrived from Lagos through Abuja-Kaduna Road,” he said.

Tsanyawa said Kano’s death toll is now on the rise because the state is experiencing an increase of cases with the new variant of the virus, with high infectivity, disease severity and virulence as from January 21 to February 3, 2021 (two weeks).

“Additional 3,442 initial samples were tested with 478 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed and 12 deaths, thus bringing the total deaths in Kano to 84.

“Over the last few weeks, the sample positivity rate has increased to 13.8 per cent compared to the overall positivity of 4.8 per cent,” he said.

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