Amid fears of a possible second wave of COVID-19 in the country, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has advised Nigerians to suspend their Christmas and New Year travels to limit the risk of contracting the virus.
The chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, at a press briefing on Monday said such trips should be put on hold to reduce transmission risks.
He said large social gatherings should also be avoided because there is a bigger risk of COVID-19 transmission.
“Ahead of the upsurge in travels for the Christmas and New Year festivities, we urge strongly that for this year, such trips should be put on hold firmly because of the risks involved.
“The transmission rate has simply become astronomical,” he said.
He noted that new clusters of cases can also emerge in places that have so far been unaffected as people gather for festivities”.
“There will always be many more festive seasons to celebrate,” he said.
Newsmen reported how Nigeria has recorded four consecutive weeks of increase in new COVID-19 cases. However the increases have not been as high as in many other parts of the world, particularly Europe and the U.S.
Countries across Europe are already recording a resurgence in COVID-19 cases after successfully slowing outbreaks early in the year, declaring more cases each day now than they were during the first wave earlier in the pandemic.
England, Portugal and Hungary are among nations in a second lockdown as the new wave of infections sweeps through, shattering efforts and responses to keep the contagion at bay.
Cases in the U.S. are also smashing new records with over 12 million infections thus far, a fifth of the almost 60 million total global tally.
Meanwhile, the National coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, had earlier announced that there will be no relaxing of the COVID-19 protocols ahead of the Christmas season.
Aliyu said that Nigeria is currently worried about the rising cases of COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, hence the need to enforce the COVID-19 rules during the holiday season.
Mustapha expressed fear over the developments at home and in some countries around the world.
He said developments in the United States of America and in Europe remain major sources of concern to the PTF.
“This is particularly so because our risk perception is low in-country. Our compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures is extremely low to the extent that Nigerians now think COVID-19 is no more.
“The response of citizens to testing and detection is very low; the risk of importation will be higher with the opening of our airspace; and the numbers in Nigeria, though appearing low over the last two weeks, has been rising gradually,” he said.
He urged Nigerians to adhere to all measures put in place to limit spread of the virus.
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