The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control continues to monitor the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, which was first reportedly discovered in Southern Africa region.
The new variant “is considered highly transmissible” and has already pushed a new wave of travel restrictions targeted at countries in Southern Africa and the continent itself.
“The fears about its ability to evade protective immune responses and/or its being vaccine-resistant are only theoretical so far,” said NCDC’s Director-General, Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, in a statement on Sunday.
“WHO and researchers across the world are working at speed to gain an understanding of the likely impact of this variant on the severity of COVID-19 and on the potency of existing vaccines and therapeutics.”
The disease control agency advised Nigerians to “make every use of the currently available opportunities to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”
It also urged the need for citizens to comply with public health and social measures such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and physical distancing.
“Avoid travel to countries where there is a surge in COVID-19 cases or reported cases of the Omicron variant. Avoid all non-essential travel both local and international. If you must travel, please adhere to travel protocols instituted by the PSC-COVID-19,” the NCDC added.
“Therefore we appeal to business owners, religious leaders, and people in authority to take responsibility by ensuring people in their premises wear masks and adhere to physical distancing.
“We must do all we can to protect ourselves and our country.”