The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has issued a public health advisory in the country, following the presidential approval for the relaxation of COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisory.
The Director-General of NCDC, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, on Wednesday in Abuja, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that that was due to the declining cases of COVID-19 and the steady increase in vaccination coverage in the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari approved the immediate relaxation of COVID- 19 Safety Measures and Travel Advisory, following the recommendations of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) based on Clinical and Laboratory evidence of a sustained reduction in COVID-19 infection/transmission across the country.
This includes the lifting of COVID-19 protocols for travellers, the compulsory use of face masks in public spaces and restrictions on mass gatherings.
This is according to Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, PSC, on COVID-19.
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Adetifa said that due to recent assessments of the COVID-19 situation in the country, the agency had also transitioned from weekly case announcements for COVID-19 to biweekly situation reports.
“However, we continue to advise Nigerians to visit the nearest government health facility to get vaccinated if they have not been previously vaccinated. Complete your vaccination dose if you are partially vaccinated and get your booster dose for increased immunity.
“Persons in the high-risk category for severe COVID-19, including hospitalisation are the elderly, those with conditions or on treatments that affect their immune systems.
“Those with hypertension, diabetes and other significant chronic illness are advised to continue to use their face mask in crowded places.
“Wash your hands with soap under running water frequently or use an alcohol-based sanitiser, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow or a disposable tissue, and get tested for COVID-19 if you notice COVID-19-associated symptoms,” he advised.
According to him, self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 until you recover.
Adhere to the published guidelines for home-based care of mild COVID-19 cases through: https://covid19.ncdc.gov.ng/media/files/
The NCDC boss urged Nigerians to fill out the simplified Health Declaration Form (not exclusive to COVID-19) on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) before or on arrival in the country.
“Although no longer a pre-requisite for travel, we recommend filling this simple health declaration form before travel to Nigeria to avoid any additional delays on arrival at our airports,” he said.
He said that NCDC would continue to maintain surveillance (including genomic surveillance sequencing) to monitor the COVID-19 trends locally and monitor the global situation to inform public health measures to protect the health of Nigerians.
He, however, called on Nigerians to ensure taking their COVID-19 vaccinations.