Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has warned that younger people, aged 20 to 40, are the ones driving transmission of the Coronavirus, but those bearing the brunt are 50 and above.
It has also said three out of five of all who die from COVID-19 are 50 and above.
The NCDC DG, Chikwe Ihekweazu, gave the warning at Thursday’s briefing to the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
He said: “I just want to touch very slightly, very briefly, on our increasing understanding of the transmission dynamics of this virus.
“As more people are infected across the world, you would have seen the numbers 10 million, it’s increasingly obvious that transmission among younger people really, not children, but people aged between 20 and 40 as far as we know are really driving the spread of this virus, but those that are bearing the brunt of it are people age 50 and above.
“Three out of five people who died from COVID-19 are 50 and above, so we have to work harder all of us collectively to protect our elderly.
“Why do I say this now? We are on the verge of opening our flights, airports, we have relaxed Intercity travel. We know that we have a family-loving people and that over the next few weeks we will all start having this urge to go and visit our parents, our, uncles, our aunts, restart the funeral activities that we have postponed for months, start the weddings, wine carryings, birthing, baptisms that we have postponed for months.
“Yes, it’s important to do these things and the interstate travel will allow us to do this but remember we haven’t relaxed the guidelines of mass gatherings.
“So as we plan over the next few weeks or months, we have to remember that there are still restrictions on mass gatherings, but beyond that we really have to show our elderly citizens love and affection by not exposing them to these viruses as much as we possibly can.
“In some cases is completely impossible, many of us know very good number of people that have taken extreme care, that have been extremely careful and yet have become infected.
“For some people it is inevitable because of the nature of this virus, but we mustn’t contribute to increasing that risk.
“Looking through social media today. I saw a brilliant campaign in Edo state, it was titled ‘our elders our pride.’ For this to mean something for all of us. We have to put this into action.
“At the NCDC just to help all of us to do the right thing, we have published new guidelines and advisory for vulnerable people define them very carefully, giving clear instructions on what you can do, what you can’t do; and how you can adapt to the things that you like to do because we recognize that sometimes it’s impossible to stop things altogether.
“These are four pages, we’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible so we deliberately don’t print out these things now in their hundreds and thousands because they change buoy we asked you to print it out and look at it yourself or look at it online go to the NCDC website: [email protected] , you will find this and many other guidelines that will help you in your daily work and daily exposure whatever you’re doing to manage the outbreak as best you can.
“But I’m really looking forward to working with you and really think through the title of the theme of this campaign in Edo, ‘our Elders our Pride’, if it means something to you take it to heart, wear a mask, postpone travel, avoid mass Gatherings, wash your hands.“