The Osun State Government has warned residents to take personal responsibility for their safety as the Omicron variant of the coronavirus pandemic becomes a source of concern for health bodies globally.
This warning became necessary in the light of the of the revelation that Nigeria now has three reported cases of the Omicron variant of the deadly coronavirus.
Warning the residents not to let down their guards yet, the state government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode reiterated its readiness to compliment the efforts of the federal government to ensure the safety and well being of Nigerians.
Citing the World Health Organisation statistics, Egbemode disclosed that the new variant has a large number of mutations, and early evidences suggested an increased reinfection risk.
Egbemode explained that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, through 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.
In her words, “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.”
The Information Commissioner, who stated that the state government understood the implications of another lockdown now that the state has not recovered from the effects of the last action, stated that it is counting on residents to take personal responsibility for their safety in manners that afforded them the freedom to conduct their businesses within safe boundaries.
Relating to individuals who have taken the full doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, she urged them to still protect themselves at all times by putting on a face mask in public places, avoiding crowded spaces and disinfecting hands and surfaces with alcohol-based sanitisers.
She added that being fully vaccinated with the two jabs of the vaccine only reduces their susceptibility to COVID-19 but does not rule out their chances of contracting and infecting others who have not been vaccinated.
Egbemode maintained that since the government places high premium on the safety and security of citizens, it will continue to take critical steps that would protect citizens from actual or potential threats.