Nigeria has recorded 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant within its borders, NCDC said on Monday.

The B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was first detected in the United Kingdom and has since spread to other parts of the world.

The Director-General of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Chikwe Iheakwazu, while speaking at the Monday briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said the new variant has spread across six states in Nigeria.

“We have now confirmed a total of 29 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and this has been confirmed in Edo, Kwara, Lagos, Osun, Oyo and FCT,” Mr Iheakwazu said.

He commended scientists working at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), at the Redeemers University in Ede, Osun State, for efforts in detecting the variants.

He said the infectious disease centre will continue to scale genomic surveillance as it is very likely more cases of the variant will be detected.

“So we continue looking out for this and working towards mitigating any impact it might have on our response,” he said.

The B.1.1.7 variant which health experts described as highly infectious has now spread to more than 80 countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO),

Mr Ihekweazu also noted that the B.1.351 variant dominant in South Africa has not been detected in Nigeria.