The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has renewed it’s call for adherence to safety protocols to prevent spread of COVID-19 disease in the country.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recently issued alert about increasing cases of the disease in different parts of the world, gradually raising another round of global public health concerns.
In a public health advisory issued by NCDC on Friday July 8, 2022, it revealed that it has observed an increase in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria in recent times. The advisory which was signed by the NCDC director general, Ifedayo Adetifa, noted that “Although confirmed cases increased from 267 to 445 between weeks 21 to 24, hospitalisation and fatalities have remained low suggesting these are mostly mild to moderate cases or we are in the lag phase before we see the accompanying increase in severe disease and hospitalisation.
“The recent increase in cases may be in part or whole due to increased testing over the last few weeks, increased circulation of Omicron sub-lineages (BA.4 and BA.5 as seen elsewhere), and an increase in seasonal illness with cold and cough symptoms as well as poor adherence to preventive measures such as the use of masks.”
NCDC disclosed that Genomic surveillance confirmed that Omicron and its various offspring (sub lineages) remain the dominant circulating variant of concern associated with the spread of the disease in the country.
The public health body, however, urged Nigerians to take necessary precautions at public gatherings especially during the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Part of the advisory reads, “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) issues this public health advisory given the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Nigeria and globally. This is based on the prevailing risk from the virus and the need for religious organisations, community leaders, and Nigerians, in general, to take necessary precautions ahead of the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.”
“The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings and when people do not adhere to preventive measures such as physical distancing, mask use, and hand hygiene.
“As we celebrate, we urge Nigerians to prevent the onset of a full-fledged fifth COVID-19 wave by remaining mindful of the high risk of spread of COVID-19 and acting in tandem by adhering to recommended public health safety measures.”
How you can protect yourself and those around you
NCDC listed measures to prevent the spread of the disease as follows:
● Visit the nearest government health facility to get vaccinated if you have not been previously vaccinated. If you received your first two vaccine doses up to six months ago, please go and get your booster dose.
● Maintain a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres from others, even if they do not appear to be sick.
● Avoid crowding (indoors and outdoors) and close contact.
Wearing face mask
Wear a properly fitted face mask when in crowded open and closed places, especially in poorly ventilated settings.
Regular hand washing & Personal Hygiene
● Wash hands frequently with soap under running water or clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based sanitiser.
● Cover your mouth and nose with a bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
● Dispose of used tissues immediately and clean hands regularly.
● If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate until you recover.