The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) has advised Nigerians to enjoy the holidays responsibly this Christmas and New Year.
Mr Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the PSC on COVID-19 and the secretary to the federal government, made the appeal in an Abuja statement on Thursday.
“As we prepare to celebrate with our families and loved ones, it is important that we do so safely by taking the necessary precautionary measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in our country.
“Nigeria is now experiencing the 4th wave COVID- 19 as new cases have continued to rise.
“This is the result of a mix of very low vaccination coverage, increased travels and movements, reduced compliance to public health social measures and highly transmissible Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant now circulating in the country,” he added.
To decrease community transmission of COVID-19 over the Christmas season, the PSC chairman urged Nigerians to adopt a culture of citizen responsibility and adhere to the following safety procedures.
“Avoid activities that involve mass gathering especially in enclosed spaces, as follows; Families are advised to limit the number of visitors to their homes and put in place precautionary safety measures;
“Any gathering in excess of 50 people should be done in open spaces with physical distancing.”
“Indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50 per cent capacity with full compliance to public health social measures, and Face masks and hand sanitisers should be used at all times regardless of vaccination status while in public spaces;
“Avoid non-essential interstate travel at this period as this increases the risk of spreading infection from one place to another.
“People who intend to travel are encouraged to take a rapid COVID-19 test to confirm status as many infected persons are asymptomatic;
“Ensure that you have taken the full dose of COVID-19 vaccination including the booster dose to reduce your risk of severe infection and death in case of exposure to COVID-19.
“Seize the opportunity provided by the mass-vaccination campaign to ensure that your family and loved ones receive their COVID-19 vaccines including the 3rd dose (booster shot) at the nearest vaccination centre,” he said.
The SGF also reminded Nigerians of the need of continuing to follow COVID-19 safety precautions in order to prevent a rise in new COVID-19 cases that would put the country’s healthcare system under strain.
If the present spike in the number of cases continues, the PSC may be compelled to consider imposing new limitations on gatherings and curfews, he said.
“The PSC wishes all Nigerians a Merry Christmas and Happy Year 2022,” he said.