The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has urged Nigerians to be innovative in their celebration of Valentine – Day on Sunday, February 14, 2021, due to the increasing cases of the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.
The boss of the NCDC claims that 1,600 people have died from COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The agency advised Nigerians to protect themselves and loved ones, especially in ways that do not involve large gatherings.
The Director General of the NCDC, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu in an interview with Guardian also urged business owners to introduce measures that would ensure people visiting their stores, clubs, eateries, fun spots, etc have their facemasks on to protect their customers and employees.
He said, “While we recognise that people want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we caution that they must do so safely. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in several ways, especially our physical and social interactions.
“We appreciate that the public health measures in place to contain the spread of the virus may be difficult, as it requires a change in people’s lifestyle. However, these are steps that must be taken to reduce the risk of spread of the disease.
“We urge Nigerians to think of every decision they make in celebrating as one that could contribute to life or death. Sadly, over 1,600 people in Nigeria have died from COVID-19 (as at Wednesday, February 10). Please, avoid large gatherings, especially if indoors, and take responsibility to protect yourself and those around you.
“NCDC continues to work with relevant government institutions and all states under the leadership of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19; we encourage Nigerians to continue to take the necessary measures to themselves and our country.
“As we plan towards the safe celebration of the Valentine season, we need the support of all Nigerians to limit spread of the virus. This means adhering strictly to public health measures, including avoiding large gatherings. Please, continue frequent hand hygiene through hand washing with soap and water or use of an alcohol-based sanitiser, wear a facemask properly, especially in public places and maintain physical distance of at least two metres.”
Ihekweazu appealed to Nigerians to adhere to all the measures put in place to reduce the spread of the disease, saying they are better protected by practising all public health and social measures.