Following the announcement by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday that Nigeria has now reported three cases of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus, Osun State Government has warned its citizens not to let down their guards yet.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, the state government reiterated that citizens should take personal responsibility for their safety, adding that Omicron is a variant of concern to global health bodies.
Citing the World Health Organisation,(WHO), she said the new variant has a large number of mutations, and early evidences suggested an increased reinfection risk.
“According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, genomic surveillance has identified and confirmed Nigeria’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 SARS-CoV-2 lineage, now known as the Omicron variant. Samples obtained for the stipulated day-two test for all travellers to Nigeria were positive for this variant in three persons with a history of travel to South Africa.
“By implication, a new brand of risk has been unleashed, demanding every citizen to review his commitment to the safety protocols against Covid-19.
“To give an idea of the severity, countries like Canada and even Indonesia are beginning to take stringent measures, which also include imposition of travel ban on a number of other countries including Nigeria.
“While the Osun Government understands the implication of another lockdown especially considering the fact that the State is still grappling with the effects of last year’s episode, it is counting on citizens to take personal responsibility for their safety in manners that afford the liberty to conduct their trades within safe boundaries.
“Those who have taken the two jabs of the vaccine should note that the vaccine reduces their susceptibility but doesn’t rule out their chances of contracting and infecting others who have not been vaccinated.
“Everyone should protect himself at all times by putting on a face mask in public places, avoiding crowded spaces, disinfecting hands and surfaces with alcohol-based sanitizer.
“The government of Adegboyega Oyetola places premium on the safety and security of citizens, and will continue to take critical steps that protect citizens from actual or potential threats”, the statement read.