By Chioma Obinna
As Muslim faithfuls mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has urged Nigerians to be mindful of the high risk of spread of COVID-19, and adhere to the COVID-19 preventive measures.
Making the call in a public health advisory issued on Tuesday and signed by the Director-General of the Centre, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, they said the advisory became necessary based on the high risk of spread of COVID—19 in Nigeria and the need for collective responsibility to prevent a surge in cases.
Ihekweazui explained that despite significant efforts, there was still ongoing transmission of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes COVID-19, in Nigeria and across the world.
He added that the Delta variant which is more transmissible than other known SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern has been detected in Nigeria, hence, the need for increased adherence to public health and social measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The virus that causes COVID-19 are more likely to spread when people gather and do not adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures.
“We urged Nigerians to limit all non-essential domestic and international travel. This is especially important for intending travellers from countries with a high number of new COVID-19 cases. If you must travel to Nigeria, please adhere to the self-isolation, testing and other travel-related protocols
“Always wear a facemask that covers your nose and mouth when in public settings or with people outside your household. Maintain physical distance of at least two metres from people outside your household and avoid direct contact with people such as hugging and handshaking.”
They further urged Nigerians to avoid sharing items such as prayer mats and kettles and if they must gather, it must be outdoors; otherwise, they should ensure that the indoor venue has enough space to accommodate attendees with appropriate physical distancing, adequate ventilation, and airflow.
“This must be in line with the existing COVID-19 health regulations, “he added.
Continuing, the NCDC also advised Nigerians to wash their hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser when hands are not visibly dirty and running water is not readily available
“Cover your mouth and nose with tissue paper, or your elbow when sneezing and/or coughing. Dispose of the tissue properly immediately after use and wash your hands.
“Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. Stay at home if you feel unwell and call your state helpline for information on how to access testing. Do not mingle with others if you have symptoms such as fever, cough or sudden loss of sense of taste or smell.
“Vulnerable groups i.e. people 60 years and above and/or people with pre-existing medical conditions should avoid non-essential outings and visitors. Where possible, a friend or family member should safely deliver food or any needed supplies.”