The National Orientation Agency has advised Nigerians to resume regular handwashing, maintaining social distancing and wearing face masks as the country’s COVID-19 cases surge in the past few days.
The agency expressed concerns over spike in cases of COVID-19 in the country, urging Nigerians not to continue to flout the rules if the second wave of the global pandemic must be checked.
The Director-General of NOA, Dr. Garba Abari, spoke at a sensitisation campaign the agency organised on Tuesday in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
Abari, represented by the Acting Coordinator of the agency in Ebonyi, Mr. Desmond Onwo, noted that the disease had not been defeated completely in the country.
“COVID-19 is still with us; it has not been defeated completely, hence the need for complete adherence to the protocols.
“A simple observation of the attitude and practices of some Nigerians have shown non-adherence to the safety protocols, due to easing of the lockdown.
“This portends more community transmission and loss of lives.This loss of lives has been on as many Nigerians appear not to believe that COVID-19 is real.
“We cannot afford to continue to lose lives to preventable virus nor risk further lockdown in the country.
“The effects of the one we have had on our economy and the social sector are unbearable for both government and citizens.
“Let it be known to everyone that your safety and freedom from the pandemic start from your acceptance of the reality of the existence of the disease,” the director-general advised.
The agency emphasised the need to strictly obey the safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as Nigeria witnesses the second wave of the disease.
“There is need to resume regular washing of hands, use of face masks, avoidance of gathering and keeping social distancing, among others.
“Let me say that the throwing away of caution to the winds brought us to where we are today, which is the resurgence of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
“There have been confirmation of new cases by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control.
“The development therefore required us to be cautious to contain this second wave of the viral disease,” the agency added.
It listed other safety measures as use of hand sanitiser, avoiding touching of eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, as well as disregarding fake news.