Sunday, January 16, 2022

Nigeria testing travellers for Omicron variant: NCDC

NCDC says it is analysing outbound and inbound travellers from countries with confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

• November 30, 2021

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says it is analysing outbound and inbound travellers from countries with confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

NCDC’s director-general, Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed this at the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) briefing on COVID-19 on Monday in Abuja.

Mr Adetifa noted that the agency would continue to sequence positive samples from the cases and ensure quick communication with the public.

“The NCDC will continue to work with the Federal Ministry of Health Ports of Entry team to ensure that inbound and outbound travellers are tested and compliant with the protocol,” said Mr Adetifa. “Towards the Christmas period, please do avoid all non-essential travel and take the precautions, which will, indeed, save even just one life. Your life is important, and so are our loved ones and strangers.”

Mr Adetifa said despite the high recovery rate, COVID-19 had caused painful and needless loss of lives, particularly among the elderly and more vulnerable.

He said its worldwide spread and ongoing devastation, resulting in full intensive care units in some countries; case surges, reintroduction of lockdowns and more, was indication enough that it was not business as usual.

According to him, Nigerians must reemphasise the priority of wearing face masks.

“I know there is pandemic fatigue. It has been very long, over 20 months, since the declaration of the pandemic, and this can cause fatigue to anyone. I commend Nigerians for bearing the pandemic as they have done and continuing to make ends meet and continue life with hope amid hardships,” added the NCDC boss. “However, I also acknowledge that we can and must do much better with adherence to public health and social measures.”

Regarding large gatherings without social measures, he warned that those must stop as they pose a huge risk to the lives of loved ones with co-morbidities, older loved ones, strangers whose complications they were unaware of and of course, the gains the country had made so far in the pandemic.


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