1. The Christmas and New Year season is here with us, once again. It is a season which the people of Anambra State have always looked forward to because, apart from being a period of peace, joy, happiness and solidarity in commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, it is a time of reunion for our people, a time to forge new relationships and deepen existing ones, a time for marriages and weddings, a time for funerals and remembrances, a time for key family, kindred, village and town gatherings, and a time for programmes and projects to develop both the church and society. Millions of people pour into Anambra State during this festive period from not only all parts of Nigeria but also different regions of the world. All this means that there are always large gatherings of people throughout Anambra State during the Christmas and New Year season.
2. The Anambra State government will like to remind all our people that the whole world is still passing through a very unusual time, caused by the global pandemic known as coronavirus. This is a highly infectious and deadly disease. It spreads through person-to-person contact. Therefore, large gatherings are not encouraged this time in the interests of our people.
3. Whereas the normal social activities will go on during this season, ndi Anambra are advised to limit the number of people attending various social functions at any given time. Social activities during this season should become super spread events for COVID-19.
4. The belief in some quarters that COVID-19 is over is false and misleading. In fact, there is a spike around the globe right now, and many ndi Anambra, their friends and in-laws are coming home from countries with high incidences of COVID-19 infections and fatalities. Even here in Nigeria, there are growing incidences in some states which may well be experiencing a second wave of the pandemic; many of our people are returning for Christmas and New Year from such states.
5. In light of the above, ndi Anambra are enjoined to attend social functions which are absolutely necessary and always observe a social distance of at least two metres. They are also encouraged to wear the face mask which must cover their nose and mouth, wash their hands regularly with running water and soap and apply hand sanitizers frequently. In addition, they are to cover their mouths with their elbows or disposable serviettes when they cough.
6. Any person who loses his or her sense of taste or smell or experiences fever is advised to go for COVID-19 test. Even persons who do not show symptoms of the disease are encouraged to go for the test. Both the testing and treatment remain free in Anambra State. Early detection always results in successful case management or treatment.
7. The Government and people of Anambra State have recorded impressive strides in the campaign against coronavirus. Our people have cooperated with the authorities to fight the pandemic, with admirable outcomes. Let us continue to make Anambra State a shining light by observing the protocols in the fight against COVID-19.
God bless Anambra State, the Light of the Nation.
C. Don Adinuba
Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment.