DOUALA, Cameroon 

Niger’s Public Health Ministry confirmed a case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus detected in the capital Niamey, said a statement issued Friday by the local authority.

“As part of the surveillance of COVID-19 virus variants, a case of the omicron variant has been detected in Niger and identified following sequencing carried out at the Medical and Health Research Center in Niamey,” the statement explained.

The case was detected in a traveler, according to the government.

The health authority has announced measures to strengthen the epidemiological surveillance at all levels of the health system.

Some 7,360 patients and 274 deaths from COVID-19 out of a population of more than 24 million have been recorded in the West African country since the first case was announced on March 19, 2020.

The figures were released on Thursday by the Health Ministry, which announced 170 active cases in a statement.

“The government draws the attention of the population to the high risk of spreading the disease to COVID-19 in this cold period and the appearance of severe cases and deaths among unvaccinated people,” it added.

The number of new cases has been slightly up compared to the previous week indicating a total of 60 new infections notified this week against 50 cases the week before as reported in the council of ministers meeting held on Thursday.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.