NCDC Launches 'Celebrate Responsibly' Campaign Amid Yuletide Season

A s part of its effort to contain the spread Coronavirus Disease (COVID19) the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has emphasized adherence to public health and social measures across the country. The measure which is its part of NCDC's effort to intensify its public communication efforts campaign is themed: "Celebrate Responsibly. The director general, NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, in a release made available to Pioneer Health explained that it was a campaign which began in February 2020 and focuses specifically on measures Nigerians need to take to protect themselves and loved ones during the Christmas and New Year period. "In the last two weeks, there has been a rapid increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country. On December 17, a record daily number of 1,145 new confirmed cases was recorded. This increase is as a result of a convergence of circumstances which includes increased local and international travels, business and religious activities with minimal compliance with COVID-19 safety measures by the members of the public, he stated. Ihekweazu maintained that the enforcement of adherence to the safety measures was not only the sole responsibility of the government, but that individuals and institutions have a responsibility too and the need to play their part in ensuring adherence to the preventive measures. He urged Nigerians to adhere to recommended measures by NCDC and other public health authorities, as they celebrate Christmas and New Year. Said he: "Please avoid all non-essential travel within and outside Nigeria to reduce the risk of transmission. The virus that causes COVID-19 is more likely to spread in mass gatherings especially when held indoors. We advise that people avoid mass gatherings during this time, or hold them outdoors with physical distancing, compulsory use of facemasks and provision of handwashing facilities or hand sanitizer.The director general further said that the campaign titled "Celebrate Responsibly was being implemented with the Federal Ministry of Information and other government institutions and the partners involved in the COVID-19 response. The campaign according to him is specifically focused on the next four weeks, which includes: the Christmas, new year holiday and start of the new year, as there was a need to reinforce to Nigerians that now was not the time to let down guard as COVID-19 has continued to threaten lives and livelihoods. "We must take all precautions necessary. It will include the production of audio and visual materials which have been translated to local languages, for wide dissemination, he added. The NCDC boss implored individuals, traditional and religious leaders, business owners, the media and other institutions to join the campaign; "Celebrate Responsibly, while calling on all Nigerians to take all necessary precautions for a safe and healthy Christmas celebration.

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