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NCDC: non-adherence to safety protocols worsening response efforts

Published by The Nation on Wed, 13 Jan 2021

By Moses Emorinken, AbujaThe Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that the lack of adherence to public health and social measures by Nigerians is worsening response efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.It noted that the average number of daily confirmed cases recorded in the first week of January 2021, was higher than the cumulative cases recorded in the last week of December 2020.It, therefore, urged Nigerians not to be fatigued or complacent in obeying the public health measures by wearing their face masks properly, washing hands with soap and water, and physically distancing themselves from others.Its Director-General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, in a statement in Abuja, said: Since the beginning of December 2020 to date in January 2021, Nigeria has recorded a consistent increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country. On the 10th of January 2021, Nigeria reached the 100,000 cases milestone, with 100,087 confirmed cases and 1,358 deaths.The NCDC is issuing this public health advisory to alert the public that the non-adherence to public health and social measures is exacerbating the public health response efforts to limit the continued spread of COVID-19.Read Also; January will be tough, NCDC warns NigeriansThe average number of daily confirmed cases recorded in the first week of January 2021, was higher than the cumulative cases recorded in the last week of December 2020. Following the festive season, and in view of the increase in the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria, the NCDC and partners, with leadership from the Federal Ministry of Health and Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 is putting in place measures to strengthen the public health response to the pandemic.While the public may be tired of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, the virus is taking advantage of the fatigue and complacency, instead of gaining momentum and taking advantage of lapses in the adherence to the public health measures.To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the public is reminded to wear a face mask properly, wash hands with soap and water, and physically distance from others. This is not the time to let down our guard. The virus that causes COVID-19 never went away and is still very much with us, as evidenced by the rising cases in Nigeria and globally.COVID-19 can affect all age groups with severe outcomes in the elderly (50 years and above), and in persons with co-morbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, cancer etc. Recently, there has been increased infection among the younger age groups. Therefore, NCDC urges all persons to take responsibility and adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions (regular hand washing, maintaining physical distance and proper use of face mask).Also, Dr. Sani Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, said the use of non-medical intervention remained best option for preventing COVID-19, amidst the discovery of vaccines.Gwarzo, a former public health physician, said this while receiving 500 pieces of face masks donated to the ministry by African Business Ventures and Investment International Nigeria Limited (ABVIG) yesterday in Abuja.He, however, expressed appreciation to the organisation for donating the item to the ministry.
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