AN APPRAISAL OF THE OMICRON VARIANT OF COVID-19 IN NIGERIA
This study was carried out on the appraise of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria using Lagos State Ministry Of Health as a case study. To achieve this, the significant research objectives were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprises of staff of Lagos State Ministry Of Health. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 56 respondents while 55 were received and 50 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. The result of the findings reveals that the prevalence of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria is high. The findings also revealed that Omicron variant of covid-19 significantly affects economic activities in Nigeria, and the measures put in place to curtail spread of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria include; travel bans, movements restriction, enacting strict quarantine laws, and compulsory vaccination. In regard to the findings, the study recommends a deployment of effective PCR kit capable of detecting new B.1.1.529 variant in all laboratories; deployment of a fast testing kit at the entry point that can detect the new B.1.1529 variant for any suspected case; and efficient contact tracing (using technology) for all incoming passengers into the country.
Keywords: Covid-19, Omicron variant.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19), which was discovered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, has spread fast to practically every corner of the world Lorfa (2020). The condition is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2, a novel and severe variant of coronavirus (sarscov-2). The coronavirus has caused not only interruptions in regular socioeconomic activity, but also disease and mortality due to its high contagiousness. Because there is no commonly accepted pharmacological solution, except for introduction of vaccines, the greatest method of prophylaxis may be preventative measures that counsel against infections and limit illness transmission .
However, though vaccines have been created and distributed, the virus keeps mutating. According to World Health Organization there have been different variants of the virus with the latest being the omicron variant. On November 24, 2021, the World Health Organization received notification of a new variety of SARS-CoV-2, B.1.1.529 (WHO). This new variety was discovered in specimens taken in Botswana on November 11, 2021, and in South Africa on November 14, 2021.
On the suggestion of who's technical advisory group on virus evolution, WHO recognized the variety b.1.1.529 as a variant of concern, naming it Omicron, on november 26, 2021. This conclusion was made based on data submitted to the tag-ve indicating omicron has many alterations that may affect how it acts, such as how easy it spreads or the degree of sickness it causes. Researchers in South Africa and throughout the world have and are undertaking research to better understand various facets of Omicron, and the results of these studies will be shared when they become available.
It is however unclear if Omicron is more transmissible than other variations, including Delta. The number of persons testing positive for this new variant is alarming and it has triggered reactions from all over the world, with countries imposing travel bans, restricting movements and enacting strict quarantine laws. Precautionary steps are required during the early stages of the variant to guard against potential harm and to limit transmission. As a result, the Nigerian government has implemented some containment methods like compulsory vaccination before travel, testing and quarantine of international visitors and the limitation of travel. This has interfered with people's everyday lives and resulted in serious economic loss and social disturbance (World Health Organization 2021).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Although Omicron is more transmissible than other variations, including Delta. The number of persons testing positive for this new variant in Nigeria is alarming and it has triggered reactions from all over the world, with countries imposing travel bans, restricting movements and enacting strict quarantine laws.
Consequently, the case in Nigerian is being triggered by poor level of awareness about the infectious illness, which has caused people to behave in ways that may avoid infection. As a result, persons may need to be informed about the possible hazards of this new variant in order to take the necessary precautions. Given the importance of understanding of preventive measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, it is critical to do study on people's health knowledge during this time.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to appraise the omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria. Other objectives of this study are:
To determine the prevalence of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria.
To determine whether omicron variant of covid-19 significantly affects economic activities in Nigeria.
To ascertain the measures put in place to curtail spread of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study will be guide by the following questions;
What is the prevalence of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria?
Does omicron variant of covid-19 significantly affects the economic activities in Nigeria.
Iii. What are the measures put in place to curtail spread of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be greatly significant to the general public as the findings of this study will show the effects of the omicron variant on citizens lifestyle and social gathering. This study will also be beneficial to the health sector as this study will show the level of awareness the public has about the omicron variant and thus will do more to sensitize the public on the the variant.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on the appraise of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria. The study further narrows to the prevalence of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria, the effect of omicron variant of covid-19 on economic activities in Nigeria, and the measures put in place to curtail the spread of omicron variant of covid-19 in Nigeria. The respondents for the study will be obtained from Lagos State Ministry Of Health.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged