Monday, 4th December 2023

CACOVID advises Nigerians to stay protected against Omicron

With the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron detected in at least 20 countries including Nigeria, there’s a need to redouble our efforts in protecting ourselves....


With the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron detected in at least 20 countries including Nigeria, there’s a need to redouble our efforts in protecting ourselves, our families and those around us. While much remains unknown about the strain, there is plenty that can be done to minimize its risks. According to Apuestas Deportivas Peru, Organizations such as the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID), have risen to the challenge of educating Nigerians on various ways to stay safeguarded against the virus.

Get vaccinated: No doubt, adherence to vaccination and booster shots will determine our fate in the coming months. The best way to protect yourself against Omicron is to get vaccinated as studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective at preventing illness, hospitalisations, and death. If you have been fully vaccinated, booster shots have been recommended to further strengthen your immunity against the virus. The Federal Government has announced that the booster shots will start being administered from December 10, 2021.

Wear your face mask at all times: Wearing a face mask remains one of the best measures to protect yourself from COVID-19 and all its variants including Delta. You should always wear a face mask when visiting crowded places, or when you are near vulnerable individuals such as the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions. While three-ply cloth masks or surgical masks may suffice in preventing the spread of infectious particles if worn appropriately, many experts think it would be better to use an N95 or KN95 respirator in crowded indoor public spaces.

Get Tested: Increased testing will help to identify Omicron quickly and nip it in the bud to avoid its spread. Swabs from Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests, which are sent to labs for analysis, can show if the variant causing the infection looks like Omicron, Delta or something else. If you experience the symptoms of the virus which may include fatigue, headache, scratchy throat, body aches and pains, consult your healthcare provider immediately.

Wash your hands regularly: Personal hygiene remains very crucial at this time. So, always wash your hands regularly with soap and water or make use of a hand sanitiser with at least 70 per cent alcohol content in the absence of water. Also, when in a crowded place, endeavor to stay at least six feet away from anyone whether they are showing symptoms or not. What might be the ultimate protection measure is to try as much as possible to stay at home or limit your contact with the public to a minimum.

CACOVID is a private-sector coalition created with the sole purpose of supporting the efforts of the NCDC in eradicating COVID-19 and all its variants from Nigeria. To know more about CACOVID and opportunities to contribute to the COVID-19 response in Nigeria.

Dutch Health Experts Submission

Meanwhile, Apuestas Deportivas Peru reveals the health experts advising the Netherlands’ government on COVID-19 strategy have recommended the country go into a “strict” lockdown, Dutch media reported on Friday, just days after a partial lockdown was extended through January.

Broadcaster RTL Nieuws and newspaper NRC Handelsblad cited sources within the panel of experts, whose recommendations are not made public until after the government has taken a decision, that they have advised the closure of all but essential stores, reports Reuters.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge told journalists outside a Cabinet meeting earlier on Friday he had “big worries” about the quick spread of Omicron, which appeared just as a previous wave of infections in the Netherlands had crested.
“I won’t say what extra measures may be needed,” De Jonge said, adding that the government would follow the health experts’ advice.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s government is due to meet with the health advisers on Saturday ahead of a decision on new measures.

On Tuesday, the government had ordered that the 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. closure of bars, restaurants and most stores, introduced in late November, would continue until Jan. 14.
In addition, primary schools were ordered to close early for the winter holidays, due to high infection rates among children.
Rutte said then that Omicron could be the dominant coronavirus strain in the Netherlands by January.

On Friday the National Institute for Health (RIVM) reported 15,433 new COVID-19 cases, down around 25% from a week earlier – but still above the peak of any previous wave.

The country’s strained healthcare system is postponing most routine care and cancelling all but urgent operations in order to cope with COVID-19 patients.