Records 500 per cent surge in two weeks • Warns Nigerians to celebrate Christmas, New Year responsibly
Nigeria has recorded a 500 per cent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country caused by the Delta and Omicron variants.
Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa who disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Abuja, observed that Nigeria is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave, adding that as at December 19 2021, a total of 223,887 cases and 2985 deaths were recorded across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
Adetifa noted that the virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings, especially when held indoors with full capacity and poor ventilation and recommended outdoor events with physical distancing, compulsory use of face masks and provision of hand-washing facilities or hand sanitisers.
He said: “Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is launching its Yuletide season campaign themed #CelebrateResponsibly as part of the #TakeResponsibility campaign, which began in February 2020. #CelebrateResponsibly focuses specifically on measures Nigerians need to take to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19 during this period.
“The #CelebrateResponsibly campaign targets the entertainment industry, transport industry, religious settings, media, security personnel, young people, and the general public to promote adherence to COVID-19 preventive measures during this festive period.
Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health, as well as NCDC and its partners, are therefore intensifying risk communication efforts to remind Nigerians of the risk we face and need to take collective responsibility to reduce transmission of the virus.”
The NCDC boss stated that the response to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-society approach, stressing that individuals, families and institutions also need to play their part in protecting one another by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures. He urged Nigerians to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year. “Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria and also make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19,”he said.
According to him, “The government has made these vaccines available for all eligible citizens and booster doses available for those previously vaccinated. “The Celebrate Responsibly campaign which spans the Christmas holiday through to the start of the new year, emphasizes the responsibility of all Nigerians, the government, private sector, institutions, associations, communities, families and individuals in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
Religious leaders and heads of institutions, organisations and businesses are urged to enforce public compliance to COVID-19
preventive measures in their jurisdiction. “COVID-19 continues to threaten the lives and the livelihoods of Nigerians, therefore, we must not let our guards down this festive season. We urge Nigerians to take all precautions necessary to ensure we and our loved ones live to celebrate many events and festivities.
The campaign includes the production of key messages, audio and visual materials for wide dissemination. The NCDC urges all individuals, traditional and religious leaders, business owners, the media, transport workers and other institutions and sectors to join the campaign by adopting the key messages and sharing within their networks,” he added.