As Muslim faithful prepare to mark the 2022 Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control has urged Nigerians to prevent the onset of a full-fledged fifth COVID-19 wave by adhering to recommended public health safety measures.
The NCDC noted this in its COVID-19 public health advisory issued on Friday amidst the rising cases of infection in the country.
The agency said there is a need for religious organisations, community leaders, and Nigerians, in general, to take necessary precautions ahead of the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.
The health advisory stated, “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.
“Since Nigeria’s first case was detected on 27th February 2020, we have had 256,695 confirmed cases with 3,144 deaths across 36 states and the FCT.”
The centre noted that genomic surveillance confirms Omicron and its sub-lineages remain the dominant circulating variant of concern associated with the spread of the disease in the country.
“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,” it noted.
The agency added that “In addition to the COVID-19 situation in Nigeria and globally, the upcoming Eid-El-Kabir celebrations against a backdrop of suboptimal COVID-19 vaccination uptake and increasing COVID-19 case numbers calls for increased individual and collective responsibility. 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.”