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Avoiding uncomfortable Yuletide

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IN TWO days time, Nigerians will join the rest of the world to celebrate Christmas, a big festival in honour of the birth of Jesus Christ, who according to  the Holy  Bible, was born over 2000 years ago. The period  of Christmas is always an opportunity for family reunion as people  reunite, mingle and party in  communities. Churches hold events. Families hold  marriage ceremonies, launchings  and other social events which are the real fun of the celebration.

  HOWEVER, following the spread of COVID-19, world leaders are once again saddled with working out ways of limiting movements, clustering of people and all forms of crowd polling ceremonies to limit the spread of the disease.

  IN NIGERIA, the federal government and Lagos State  have alerted the nation of rise in COVID-19 infections ahead the Yuletide as they brace up for the increasing challenges posed by soaring rate of  infections.

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC),  Sunday, advised Nigerians against non-essential local and international travels during the festive period, while Lagos State Government vowed to get tough with violators of compulsory tests for international inbound passengers.

 NCDC also disclosed that the new trending COVID variant of  coronavirus, the Omicron may also lead to several other mutations.  “The spread of COVID-19 variants of concern including the Omicron variant may lead to a surge in cases globally due to mutations which could give the SARS-CoV-2 virus a specific advantage such as increased transmissibility, possibility of more severe illness or evasion of tests currently used for the detection of COVID-19. Importantly, this holiday season, we advise everyone to avoid non-essential travel, both international and national while research is ongoing to better understand Omicron and its impact on the national and global response to COVID-19. In Week 49, the number of samples tested increased to 62,537 from 51,345 reported in week 48. These were reported in 36 states and FCT”, NCDC reported.

  ALSO, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, said Lagos State was on the trail of inbound travellers, who evaded mandatory COVID-19 tests, adding that the state would also punish inbound travellers who disobey the COVID-19 safety protocols.

  “RECALL that recently, the governor issued a statement and guidelines that we have to follow to win the war against COVID-19.”

 HE URGED Lagosians to join hands with government to defeat the fourth wave, as they have done in the three previous waves, adding: “We are trying as much as possible to work with the federal government to tighten entry formalities at the airport. This virus is believed to be coming from abroad, especially, the new Omicron variant. We are trying as much as possible to ensure that people coming in don’t just walk into Lagos without obeying the formalities. They have to go through the second-day and seven-day tests. Some of those who are trying to beat this protocol; I assure you that they will face justice,”Omotosho said.

  IT SHOULD be noted that  since the emergence of the pandemic,  two years ago, many countries, including Nigeria have keenly pitted against it,  to curtail its  spread through various means including lock downs, social distancing,  emphasis of peresonal hygiene, such as frequent washing of hands with soap under  running water or application of alcohol based sanitiser, wearing of face masks, among others.

   FORTUNATELY, a good number of researchers have succeeded in developing various brands of vaccines to protect people against infection, since the hope of having a permanent cure is still far-fetched.

    WE THEREFORE join various governments and experts in the health sector to urge those yet to be inoculated to do so even as everyone should continue to abide by the various safety guidelines.

  THERE is also a recent wave of epidemiological outbreaks such as the on-going high spread of yellow fever and Lassa fever as well as nagging issue of flu, cough and other contagious diseases.

   PEOPLE should  avoid doing things that will endanger their lives or the health of their loved ones through their actions or inactions regarding celebrating and making merry this season.

   PEOPLE should also celebrate or endeavour to enjoy themselves with serious concern about safety.  

   THERE is also possibility of fire outbreaks given the weather. People  should avoid practices and habits that lead to danger or expose them to avoidable  accidents  given that the roads are also busy and rowdy during   Christmas.  For example, if one has too much in his itinerary, he could be pressed for time and be forced to over speed or ignore certain traffic rules in order to beat time and meet up his many engagements.

DURING this period, it is advised that one should  consider the condition of roads and vehicles as the roads are not at their best everywhere in the country and they impact negatively on the vehicles which is why there is need to drive with care to avoid accidents and vehicle breakdown that could  lead to other dangers.

  PEOPLE should try to contain themselves and their celebrations this season. After all, Christmas should be a celebration in-which Christians  reflect on the circumstances and significance of Christ’s birth and mission on earth and not an opportunity to show off or make ostentatious spending as some people have taken it to be over the years  to show that they have arrived.

   SOME even go as far as borrowing money or embarking on illegal deals or even spend a year’s savings on unnecessary journeys and things, only to end up running from pillar to post in January to pay  school fees, bills ,rents, among others. 

     NATIONAL LIGHT therefore urge caution in spending,  considering the hard times as  Christmas can be celebrated with less spending without losing the essence and joy of Yuletide.

  ABOVE all, everyone should do everything to avoid conditions that may be harmful to health, lead to death or ruin the future of anyone while celebrating. 

   WE HOPE to see you alive in 2022

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