In August 2020, the pandemic has caused 654.000 deaths all around the world. And in Nigeria, in only one day, they got 55.000 confirmed cases and 1057 deaths.
The pandemic has hit this continent last, and the numbers are low, in comparison to most countries. But the country still struggles with testing, so the numbers might actually not show the truth.
People are still waiting for a vaccine, and countries like Nigeria are still trying to keep the situation under control. Nigeria is also working on a vaccine. They’re doing research at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases. This center focuses on infectious disease research. They are looking into Ebola, HIV, Malaria, Yellow Fever, and COVID-19.
The first coronavirus infection in Nigeria happened on the 27th of February because of an Italian immigrant. His samples were sent to the center, and the first data about the virus was published on the 6th of March.
Genome sequencing is essential because it helps us in understanding the evolution of the virus. Right now, there is only one strain of SARS-CoV-2, but there are more than 1000 lineages of this virus all around the globe. The lineage classification is made out of genetic variants and mutations which connect the ancestral type to the genetics of the descendants. It does not change the physiology of the virus.
Viral lineages are formed when mutations happen and when they do not change the encoded viral protein. But the mutation that changes it in viral pathogenicity, or immunogenicity, will become a new strain. They have found seven lineages in Nigeria, and each one represents sequences from different countries.