The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has warned Nigerians not to travel if it is not necessary as Muslim faithful prepare to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebrations next week amid the COVID-19 Delta variant.
Dr Yahya Disu, NCDC Head of Risk Communications Division, gave the warning in an interview with Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ breakfast show on Wednesday.
He said that the COVID-19 second wave pandemic started in the country because people travelled for Christmas last December.
NCDC had published last week of a confirmed case of the dreaded SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in the country.
Disu said, “Before now, we knew the third wave was going to be inevitable. Third wave is about having an increase in the number of cases. We have had an increase and decrease in the number of cases before now. So, the third one is starting but what is important is what we are able to do to ensure that we are able to reduce it.
“More importantly, Sallah is coming when people just travel and that makes the risk higher in villages, in different parts of the country. So, we need to warn people: they don’t need to travel if it is not necessary, you can celebrate where you are. During Sallah, we go to the mosque in large numbers, but this is the time we need to be very cautious.
“We are working with religious organisations. The second wave in Nigeria started because of Christmas, because people travelled for Christmas. So, we can avoid it, we can learn from it. A life that we lost is very important for every one of us, it could be anybody. So, it is not worth it to lose a life because we want to celebrate Sallah or Christmas.”