With 758 new COVID-19 cases in Nigeria and a total of 74,132 confirmed cases, the National Orientation Agency has warned Nigerians against non-adherence to the prevention protocols of face mask wearing, regular hand washing and physical distancing during the Christmas and New Year period.
In a message of caution, the Director General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, urged members of the public to take personal responsibility for their own protection from the pandemic and that of their families, noting that the increasing COVID-19 figures in Nigeria are the result of non-compliance to prevention protocols.
Furthermore, Abari admonished the public to heed the recent End-of-Year Travel Advisory on COVID-19 issued by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, which urged Nigerians to limit all non-essential travel, especially from high risk countries.
According to him: “While we celebrate in this Christmas and New Year season, Nigerians should not lose sight of the real and present danger of COVID-19 in our communities.
“Our country and our loved ones need us alive and healthy in the coming year.
“Therefore, we should limit person-to-person contact by practicing physical distancing.
“Similarly, the constant wearing of facemask in public and regular hand washing/sanitization should be non-negotiable.”
Abari said the NOA had already deployed all members of its War Against Indiscipline Brigade to persuade Nigerians in their communities to comply with COVID-19 preventive protocols.
Also, he said all State Directors and Community Orientation and Mobilisation Officers of the Agency have been directed to visit churches, mosques, traditional rulers and community gatherings in their respective states and communities in the coming week leading up to Christmas, to sustain the sensitisation on COVID-19 prevention.
In addition, he said where any State Director or COMO is denied access to any of these locations for sensitisation, such officer is to issue a clearly worded letter to the leadership of such organisation communicating the dangers of non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols in their organisation and copying same to the Agency’s National Headquarters
Abari also called on churches, mosques, traditional rulers, community leaders and social organisations to ensure that COVID-19 prevention protocols are strictly complied with in all programmes and activities within their purview during the yuletide.