Eid-el-Kabir: NCDC Warn Against Increasing Numbers Of COVID-19

Eid-el-Kabir: NCDC Warn Against Increasing Numbers Of COVID-19

Blessing Otobong-Gabriel 

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has on Friday warned religious organisations, community leaders, and Nigerians, in general, to take necessary precautions ahead of the upcoming Eid-el-Kabir celebrations.

Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa gave the warning on Friday in Abuja that the latest situation report from the World Health Organization WHO, the number of weekly COVID-19 cases has increased globally for the third consecutive week. 

Adetifa stated that (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.

According to him, the national surveillance system has detected a gradual increase in the daily COVID-19 cases recorded in the country.

The DG 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.

He said 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. Genomic surveillance confirms 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 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”. 

“Over the last 2 years, Nigeria, just like the rest of the world has battled a pandemic that led to the hospitalisation and deaths of thousands and beyond health, also disrupted livelihoods and economies. The national multisectoral response is coordinated by a Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19) with the NCDC leading the public health response. In April 2022, due to the declining number of COVID-19 cases, the availability of vaccines, and the increasing number of people vaccinated in Nigeria and globally, there was a further easing of the COVID-19 restrictions and protocols”. 

Despite easing restrictions, the NCDC and Federal Ministry of Health through the National Multisectoral COVID-19 Emergency Operations Centre (COVID-19 EOC) has been working closely with states and other partners to monitor the epidemiology of the virus and sustain response activities in the country. The national EOC maintains active surveillance in conjunction with State Epidemiologists, supports states to ensure that access to testing is provided for prompt management of confirmed cases, and coordinates genomic surveillance to detect emerging variants. Our focus is to ensure response continuity for COVID-19 and improve our health system while giving needed attention to other priorities within our mandate including the ongoing monkeypox response. 

“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”. 

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