With the increase in Covid-19 cases, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has shown its alarming concerns. It warns the Nigerians to celebrate Christmas and New Year responsibly.
A 500 percent increase has been observed across the country in two weeks, caused by Delta and Omicron variants. That adds up to a total of 223,887 cases taking a death toll of over 2985 across all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria.
Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, who revealed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja, observed that Nigeria is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave.
He reminded that Covid-19 is a communal spread virus; it is most likely to spread in large gatherings, especially those held indoors that have a poor ventilation system. Therefore, he recommended holding the gathering outdoor where physical distancing is possible. Likewise, he emphasized to use facial masks including proper sanitization and washing hands with soap and water frequently.
During the announcement, he highlighted the recent campaign launched by the NCDC to create public awareness and help stop the virus further. 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.’’ He further added.
“The response to COVID-19 requires a whole-of-society approach. Therefore, individuals, families, and institutions also need to play their part in protecting each other by ensuring adherence to COVID-19 public health and social measures. He further noted that “Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.”
During the declaration of the Socially responsible campaign, he said: “Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria and also make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19.’’
According to him, the government has provided the vaccination for all the eligible citizens for Covid-19 prevention. At the same time, booster doses are available for the citizens who were vaccinated earlier. This ensures the safety of the citizens of Nigeria and likewise reduces the chances of further communal spread.
“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 our loved ones, and we live to celebrate many events and festivities.’’
#CelebrateResponsibly campaign strives to bring the whole society under one banner, and that is to eradicate the chances of further spread as the country is entering into the fourth wave. In addition, this campaign is not only restricted to a mere #hastag; instead, it also includes the key messages, both audio and visuals, for mass awareness.
By launching this campaign, the NCDC hopes to get all the religious leaders, business sector, heads of institutions, and other organizations to take active measures against the Covid-19 pandemic and remain compliant with the protocols specified by the government.
Further, the whole-society approach initiated by the NCDC urges individuals on all levels to take action and make smart choices when celebrating festivals including Christmas, and the New Year.