PRESS RELEASE ON THE ENFORCEMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH SOCIAL MEASURES DURING THE CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS IN THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY (FCT)

  1. The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has observed with dismay the attitude of our people to adopt simple measures that offer protection against being infected by the COVID-19. The current upsurge in number of COVID-19 cases is most likely being driven by the Omicron variant that is much more transmissible than the other variants.  

2. The FCTA’s deployment of more resources – health workers, funds and materials to control the disease, can only be successful if the residents of the FCT play their part, especially during this festive period that has increased social interactions and travel. Therefore all residents of the FCT are being called upon to take action to protect themselves and their loved ones against this pandemic. As such it is critical that scientifically proven actions that prevent the COVID-19 disease must become our habit.   

3. Consequently during the Christmas and New year celebration period, the residents of the FCT are urged to practice the following measures as advised by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, which will be enforced by FCTA

        i.   Any gathering in excess of 50 people must be done in open spaces. Street parties are discouraged. All night clubs and related activities are banned during this period.

      ii.  Indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50% capacity with full compliance to public health social measures such as physical distancing (2 metres apart) and use of face masks, etc.

   iii.  The use of facemask and hand sanitizer for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at all times while in public spaces should be strictly adhered to.

4. The current status of the COVID-19 in the FCT is worrisome. The cases so far in December as at 24th are 2,591 which is 1,028% increase of the 252 cases confirmed in November 2021. In addition, hospital admissions for COVID-19 have increased by over 634%, from 35 in November to 222 so far in December. Also, the number of active cases being treated in the treatment centres and at private homes rose from 130 at the end of November to today’s figure of -2,352(1,809%) increase. About 25% of all cases over the months were between 30 to 39 year olds. Unfortunately, all COVID-19 deaths in December 2021 have occurred in unvaccinated persons.

5. The FCTA has continued to put in place measures to control the increase in cases and prevent deaths, in conjunction with the Federal authorities and developmental partners. Scientific data has shown that a very important tool to control this pandemic is herd immunity, which is only possible when at least 70-80% of the FCT populace is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Thus the ongoing vaccination programme that aims to vaccinate at least 1.5 million residents of the FCT by January 31, 2022, using 283 vaccination teams located in public and private Hospitals, markets, religious places, shopping malls and other locations with high human volume.

6. As good members of the FCT community, we must be cautious, vigilant and adhere to the government’s advisory on tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. Nobody is certain that they will survive if infected or have mild or severe symptoms. Also, let us note that, even as symptom free individuals can still pass on COVID-19 to others who may develop serious complications or even death.

7. FCTA urges residents to avoid crowded places, wear face mask, wash hands frequently, get vaccinated, go for laboratory and get tested if exposed or have symptoms and comply with all relevant advisory. Finally, being a caring government, FCTA has put in place the machinery to enforce all non-pharmacological COVID-19 prevention measures.

8. HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR

Dr Abubakar Tafida

Hon Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat

December 25, 2021.

Previous CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO RESIDENTS OF THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY, BY THE HON. MINISTER OF THE FCT, MALAM MUHAMMAD MUSA BELLO

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