The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has called on Nigerians not to travel for Christmas and New Year festivals because of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and PTF chairman, made the plea at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
He said it was necessary Nigerians shun traveling for Christmas and New Year celebrations in order to reduce transmission risks of the dreaded virus.
He said, “Ahead of the upsurge in travels for the Christmas and New Year festivities, we urge strongly that for this year, such trips should be put on hold firmly because of the risks involved.
“The transmission rate has simply become astronomical.”
Further advising people to avoid large social gatherings, Mustapha said that cases of COVID-19 could also spread to places that had so far been unaffected due to the gathering of people during the festivities.
He said Nigerians should understand that “there will always be many more festive seasons to celebrate.”
On the resurgence of the virus in many countries where the number of infection one reduced, Mustapha noted that the case of the United States of America (USA) and Europe remained major sources of concern to the PTF.
He said, “This is particularly so because our risk perception is low in-country. Our compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures is extremely low to the extent that Nigerians now think COVID-19 is no more.
“The response of citizens to testing and detection is very low; the risk of importation will be higher with the opening of our airspace; and the numbers in Nigeria, though appearing low over the last two weeks, has been rising gradually.”
He, therefore, pleaded with Nigerians to observe all measures put in place to curtail the spread of the pandemic.
Earlier, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, said that the federal government would not relax the COVID-19 protocols ahead of the festive season.