The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a public health advisory to all members of the public to exercise caution as they celebrate the upcoming festivities – Christmas and New year.
The Commission said that it is fully aware that the yuletide season affords a number of people an opportunity to celebrate with their families and friends and as well for people to travel to visit their loved ones or attend events, but cautioned that everyone has to make necessary adjustments in social interactions in line with the reality of the pandemic to limit the spread of Covid-19.
According to the commission, “Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, just over 67,000 Covid-19 cases have been reported with just over 1,000 deaths. Most of the confirmed cases and deaths have been in urban/semi-urban cities and towns and the risk of spread remains.
“The Covid-19 virus does not spread on its own, it spreads when people move around. This means that by traveling across countries and cities, there is a higher risk of transmission, especially to rural areas where the existing health infrastructure is already weak.”
Key highlights of the advisory
- Limit all non-essential domestic and international travels.
- As an alternative to traveling, you could still remain socially connected with friends and loved ones using mobile or video conferencing technology.
- Hold virtual services and prayer sessions to limit the mass congregation.
- Observe appropriate social distancing protocols and personal hygiene in all public places and events, washing of hands frequently with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty and running water is not readily available.
Why this matters
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has continued to rise across several countries globally. Nigeria is not an exception, with the recent spike recorded in the number of confirmed cases in some major cities.
In the first wave of infections, the economy was paralyzed with lockdowns that lasted for months, and the country cannot afford a second wave which could be more catastrophic.