After daily record numbers of Covid-19 infections in recent days, Senegalese health officials recommended Thursday that people refrain from traveling for the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival set to take place next week.
In social media posts, health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr recommended mask-wearing at all times and avoiding “movement and travel during the Tabaski festival”, as the holiday is known in west and central Africa.
Families typically mark Tabaski by gathering for a sacrifice, and may travel long distances in crowded cars and buses for the occasion.
Diouf Sarr also recommended working from home whenever possible and reducing staff elsewhere.
Infections have been rising across the continent, with Senegal itself recording a record 733 new infections on Wednesday, followed by 674 on Thursday.
Canada’s most populous province is expected to return to lockdown after a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections, local media reported Wednesday.
Premier Doug Ford is set to announce that Ontario — home to 14 million people, more than a third of the country’s population — will return to lockdown for 28 days from Saturday, TV channels CBC and CTV reported.
The province has reported 2,000 new cases daily for a week, double the daily infections seen in the beginning of March.
The Federal Government may consider the option of imposing a fresh lockdown on the country if the rising cases of COVID-19 infections recorded lately continue.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this during the PTF briefing in Abuja, on Thursday.
“If these numbers continue to go up and we start having significant deaths, we will have no option. If we do not want to lock down, now is the time to make sure that we follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions,” Aliyu said urging Nigerians to take COVID-19 safety guidelines seriously.
The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha also at the briefing said the increase in the number of infections daily is worrying and calls for concern.
“The Presidential Task Force is very concerned about the increasing daily numbers that we are recording.
“On 6th of January 2021, we recorded 1,664 infections. This is yet another all-time high in Nigerian and we must all take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance,” the SGF said.
The Federal Government had in March 2020 locked down the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja as well as Lagos and Ogun States for over five weeks as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic.
Dozens of people gathered on Tuesday at the headquarters of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in Lagos and Abuja, to register for their National Identification Number (NIN).
The crowd defied the surge in COVID-19 infections in the country and struggled on long queues at the main entrance of the NIMC offices in the nation’s capital and also in Abuja.
This comes as the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, issued a two-week ultimatum to all telecommunications operators in the country to block all Subscriber Identification Modules (SIMs) without National Identification Number.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has expressed worry over the rising cases of COVID-19 infections in the state, warning that he will impose a second lockdown of the entire state if the rate of infections continues to rise.
The Governor who disclosed this on Wednesday in Kaduna State said he is worried that the rate of infections will soon overwhelm the state’s health system if nothing is done urgently to contain the spread of the virus.
Kaduna State has been recording 30 percent new COVID-19 infections daily in the last two months.
El-Rufai lamented that some residents have refused to abide by all the safety measures put in place by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), hence there might be another lockdown soon.
The governor directed that all employees of the state government must undergo a mandatory COVID-19 test as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the state.
Ahead of the Christmas festivities, the Governor warned residents to celebrate with caution, by avoiding large gatherings, wearing their facemasks always, and adhering to other safety measures that will prevent them from contracting COVID-19 during and after the festivities.
On his part, a former Minister of State for Health, Dr Idi Hong explained that the second phase of COVID-19 is more deadly than the first one, hence the need for the people to live responsibly and be mindful of the dangers that lie ahead.