Nigeria records 500% increase in COVID-19 infections in 2 weeks, says NCDC

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Over the last two weeks, Nigeria has seen a 500% surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.

This is stated in a statement issued and signed by Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in Abuja.

Adetifa ascribed the country’s 500% spike in infections to the COVID-19 Delta and Omicron strains.

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“As of Dec. 19, Nigeria reported 223,887 cases and 2,985 deaths in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

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

“The 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.

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“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 explained.

sample of covid-19 virusHe also said that the NCDC was commencing its #CelebrateResponsibly yuletide season campaign 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.

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“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 added.

He advised Nigerians to follow the agency’s and other public health authorities’ recommendations as they celebrated Christmas and New Year’s.

“Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission.

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“The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings especially when held indoors with full capacity and poor ventilation.

“We strongly recommend outdoor events with physical distancing, compulsory use of facemasks, and provision of handwashing facilities or hand sanitisers.

“Please make use of every opportunity provided to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” he advised.

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The NCDC director stated that the government has made the COVID-19 vaccines available to all eligible residents, as well as booster doses for those who had previously been vaccinated.

He stated that the Celebrate Responsibly campaign, which runs from the Christmas holiday to the start of the new year, emphasises the responsibility of all Nigerians, including the government, private sector, institutions, associations, communities, families, and individuals, in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also asked religious leaders and heads of institutions, organisations, and corporations to enforce public compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures under their authority.

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“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 more events and festivities.

“The campaign includes the production of key messages, audio and visual materials for wide dissemination.

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“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 said.

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