The Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19, CACOVID, has emphasised that with the advent of Omicron, which is another variant of the deadly Coronavirus, it has never been more crucial for Nigerians to get vaccinated. Evidence suggests that the new variant may be more transmissible than Delta, but there are still many unknowns at play.
Nigeria’s daily COVID infections are reported to have jumped more than five-fold over the past few weeks following the discovery of the Omicron variant in the country. The average number of Nigerians who tested positive for the pathogen has risen to 451 a day for the week ending Dec. 12, compared with 76 in the preceding week, according to data from the National Center for Disease Control.
Spokesperson of CACOVID and the Managing Director, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Zouera Youssoufou, urged Nigerians to take the disease seriously, get vaccinated and take all necessary health precautions.
“Contrary to erroneous information being circulated, a COVID-19 vaccine will not make you sick with COVID-19. It is imperative to take the full dose of the vaccine to ensure maximum protection. People should continue to take all necessary precautions,” she said.
On December 1, 2021, Nigeria joined the growing number of countries that have recorded the first cases of the Omicron variant. The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has since declared that there has been a significant rise in the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the state.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Ifedayo Adetifa, has recommended vaccination to reduce the spread of the new variant. “All viruses naturally mutate over time and will continue to happen as long as the world does not act in concert to significantly reduce transmission through vaccination and adherence to effective public health measures.”
CACOVID further encourages Nigerians to continue to take preventative measures to protect themselves from the virus, such as frequent handwashing, wearing a face mask and maintaining physical distancing.