The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Ifedayo Adetifa, has said the threat of the COVID-19 virus remains within nations across the globe, particularly for high-risk groups.
Adetifa said this in a statement released by the agency on Sunday.
The PUNCH reports that the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Ghebreyesus, on Friday, announced that COVID-19 was no longer a public health emergency of international concern.
The NCDC boss said the WHO declaration was to enable countries’ transition from acute emergency response to managing COVID-19 as part of integrated healthcare delivery for all infectious diseases.
“The declaration that COVID-19 is no longer PHEIC is to enable countries’ transition from acute emergency response to managing COVID-19 as part of integrated healthcare delivery for all infectious diseases. The threat of the virus remains within countries and globally and particularly for high-risk groups. As transmission continues within communities, the risk of new variants emerging and resulting in surges in case numbers and even deaths remains.”
He added that “Nigeria had already de-escalated its COVID-19 response since 2022 in response to local epidemiology, focused on encouraging COVID-19 vaccination and recommended discretionary use of face masks and other public health safety measures according to personal risk assessments. This continues to be complemented by efforts to leverage the pandemic response (lessons, resources, partnerships, etc) to improve our national health security through health system strengthening, improving public health emergency management training, laboratory and infrastructural upgrades and strategic focus on improving emergency preparedness and planning at State and Local Government levels.”
NCDC is the country’s national public health institute, with the mandate to lead the preparedness, detection, and response to public health emergencies.