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NCDC Begins Campaign to Curb Omicron, Delta Variants’ Spread

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has launched its yuletide season campaign with the theme: #CelebrateResponsibly as part of measures to reduce spread of the COVID-19 during the yuletide.

According to the NCDC, Nigeria has recorded a 500 per cent increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country due to the Delta and Omicron variants.

A statement by the centre yesterday said the campaign tagged, “#TakeResponsibility campaign” first began in February, 2020

It focuses specifically on measures Nigerians needed to take to protect themselves and loved ones from COVID-19 during this period.

The NCDC said the campaign was targeting 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.

The statement added: “As of 19th December 2021, a total of 223,887 cases and 2985 deaths have been recorded in Nigeria across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The country is now in a fourth COVID-19 wave.

“The federal government 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 said the response to COVID-19 required 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.

“Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year,” it added.

The Centre advised Nigerians to avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission.

In a related development, the FCT Administration has disclosed that it had detected almost 3,000 new cases of COVID-19, indicating the escalation in the spread of the virus which is now in its fourth wave in the country.

The Secretary of FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Dr. Abubakar Tafida, raised the alarm yesterday at a media briefing where he provided insights on the spread of the pandemic in the territory.

He pleaded with residents of the Federal Capital Territory to minimise physical contacts and other non-pharmaceutical measures to control the spread of the virus.

In addition, he urged members of the public to maintain social distancing, wear facemasks and wash their hands with soap or hand sanitisers to prevent the escalation of the pandemic.

He said the secretariat had resolved three weeks ago that the Territory had lapsed into the forth wave of the pandemic following an exponential rise in the number of new cases.

Tafida said the health authority confirmed 84 new cases on Sunday to bring the cumulative cases in the FCT to 24,861 since the first wave out of which 224 deaths were recorded.

“Now we have 1,246 active cases. We also noted additional 13 cases in the past 24 hours. In terms of people or cases on admission, we have a total of 105. Of this number, 92 are in THISDAY Dome and13 at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada.

This, he said signified the severity of the conditions, saying preparedness was key to effectively handling the pandemic.

“So you can see that within the span of three weeks, we are having almost a thousand plus, so if we continue to neglect these preventive measures, the situation might become very alarming and difficult to handle,” he warned.

He added that at the last meeting they had evaluated the current situation as well as the increasing number of cases, the Health Secretariat developed strategies that were in consonance with scientific and other available data.

He implored all stakeholders, including security, traditional, religious leaders, people of note, to ensure that they are supporting the effort, by imploring and advising people to continue to observe these measures.

He added: “As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of global upheaval, as there were lots of agitations, destructions , death and socioeconomic hardships.”

He lamented the vaccine apathy even though there were over 320 teams working within the FCT providing vaccination.

He warned that in view of the attitude the authority might be compelled to enforce the national vaccination mandate in the territory.

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