NCDC Issues Travel Advisory for Christmas, New Year

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has released its end-of-year travel advisory on COVID-19 for the Christmas and New Year period, warning that necessary measures should be taken to limit the spread of the pandemic.

The organisation advised Nigerians to limit their festivities to members of their immediate families.

The NCDC said that while remaining physically distanced, they should remain socially connected with friends and loved ones using mobile or video-conferencing technology.

The advisory reads, “across the world, Christmas is a time for celebration and festive cheer, as well as an increase in religious and social gatherings. During the Christmas and New Year celebrations, we recognise that people want to travel and be with family and friends.

“However, this has been a difficult year and the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our usual way of living and we all have to make adjustments in our lives to the new reality we are faced with. We must all continue to take the necessary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, just over 67,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported with just over 1,000 deaths. Most of the confirmed cases and deaths have been in urban/semi-urban cities and town and the risk of spread remains.

“The COVID-19 virus does not spread on its own; it spreads when people move around. This means that by traveling across countries and cities, there is a higher risk of transmission, especially to rural areas where the existing health infrastructure is already weak.

“Nigerians are therefore advised to be vigilant; this is not the time to let our guard time. It is advisable to: Limit all non-essential domestic and international travel. This is especially important for intending travellers from countries recording a high number of COVID-19 cases.

“As an alternative to travel, the following should be considered: Limit festivities to members of your immediate household. While remaining physically distanced, remain socially connected with friends and loved ones using mobile or video conferencing technology.

“Hold virtual services and prayer sessions to limit mass congregation.

“Limit person-to-person contact and physical movement using electronic money transfers systems.”

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