Nigeria has officially launched itself into the fourth phase of the COVID-19 pandemic following the discovery of the omicron variant.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCEC) which announced this on Monday disclosed that this followed a 500 percent increase in the number of cases in the past two weeks.
According to the statement signed by the Director-General, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa; “Nigeria has recorded a 500% increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks across the country caused by the Delta and Omicron variants. 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 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.
“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. Critically, Nigerians are urged to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year.
“Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission. 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. The government has made these vaccines available for all eligible citizens and booster doses available for those previously vaccinated.
“We urge Nigerians to take all precautions necessary to ensure we and our loved ones live to celebrate many more events and festivities.”