The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has issued a public health advisory to elderly Nigerians and anyone at high risk of severe COVID-19, including hospitalisation, to continue to follow safety precautions, including the use of a facemask. This was following the approval for the relaxation of all COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisories by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19)
The health agency disclosed this in an official statement on Thursday, 15 December, 2022, as it also announced it’s switching from publishing weekly case update for COVID-19 to biweekly status updates.
“If you have never received a vaccination, go to the closest government health centre to acquire one. Booster shots should be received if you have only received a portion of the recommended vaccinations.
“Persons in the high-risk category for severe COVID-19 including hospitalisation e.g., the elderly, those with conditions or on treatments that affect their immune systems, and those with hypertension, diabetes and other significant chronic illness are advised to continue to use their facemask in crowded places”, the agency advised.
In addition, the centre stated: “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,” the agency advised.
The agency further urged Nigerians to get tested for COVID-19 if they noticed COVID-19-associated symptoms, and to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 until they recover.
“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 travellers, we recommend filling out this simple health declaration form prior to travel to Nigeria to avoid any additional delays on arrival at our airports,” the agency stated.
NCDC will 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.