By Abujah Racheal
Abuja – Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the centre has not relaxed its guidelines on mass gathering in the coronavirus (COVID-19) protocol.
Ihekweazu said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) media briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
“We are on the verge of opening our flights, airports and we have relaxed intercity travel.
“We know that we have family, loving people and that over the next few weeks, we will all start having this urge to go and visit our parents, our uncles and our aunts.
“We may also restart the funeral activities that we have postponed for months, start the weddings, wine carryings, birthing, baptisms that we have postponed for months.
“Yes, it’s important to do these things and the interstate travel will allow us to do this, but remember we haven’t relaxed the guidelines of mass gatherings,’’ he said.
The DG said that as more people were infected across the world, it was increasingly obvious that transmission among younger people aged between 20 and 40 driving the spread of the virus.
He noted that as the country planned over the next few weeks or months, Nigerians have to remember that there are still restrictions on mass gatherings.
“Beyond that, Nigerians have to show their elderly citizens love and affection by not exposing them to the virus as much as they possibly could.
“For some people, the exposure is inevitable because of the nature of this virus, but we mustn’t contribute to increasing the risk.
“Looking through social media today, I saw a brilliant campaign in Edo state, titled ‘our elders our pride’.
“For this to mean something for all of us, we have to put this into action.”
The DG added that the NCDC was looking forward to working with Nigerians and, through the title of the theme of the campaign in Edo, ‘Our Elders Our Pride’, if it means something they could take it to heart.
He urged Nigerians to wear a mask, postpone travel, avoid mass gatherings and wash their hands.