Despite the recent relaxation of COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisory by the federal government, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has advised senior citizens and persons in the high-risk category for severe COVID-19 including hospitalisation to continue to adhere to safety measures, especially wearing of facemask.
In a public health advisory issued yesterday, by the Centre, it also advised Nigerians who have not been previously vaccinated to do so without hesitation.
The NCDC stated: “Following the presidential approval for the relaxation of COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisory and as a result of the declining cases of COVID-19 and the steady increase in vaccination coverage in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC-COVID-19) has advised the relaxation of all COVID-19 safety measures and travel advisories.
“This includes the lifting of COVID-19 protocols for travellers, the compulsory use of face masks in public spaces and restrictions on mass gatherings. Due to recent assessments of the COVID-19 situation in the country, the NCDC has also transitioned from weekly case announcements for COVID-19 to biweekly situation reports for COVID-19.
“However, we continue to advise Nigerians to visit the nearest government health facility to get vaccinated if you have not been previously vaccinated. Complete your vaccination dose if you are partially vaccinated and get your booster dose for increased immunity.
In addition, the Centre stated: “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, those with hypertension, diabetes and other significant chronic illness are advised to continue to use their facemask 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. Get tested for COVID-19 if you notice COVID-19-associated symptoms. Self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 until you recover.”
The NCDC further advised the public to continue to adhere to the published guidelines for home-based care of mild COVID-19 cases.
For travelers, NCDC said they should continue to fill out the simplified Health Declaration Form (not exclusive to COVID-19) on the Nigeria International Travel Portal (NITP) upon before or on arrival in the country.
“Although no longer a pre-requisite for travel, we recommend filling this simple health declaration form prior to travel to Nigeria to avoid any additional delays on arrival at our airports.
“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,” it said.