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The Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, says it would be quite tough to celebrate Easter in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic, considering the measures put in place by the government to curb its spread.
He said this at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on of COVID-19 on Friday in Abuja
The NCDC boss, however, stressed that the restriction order on social gatherings – including in churches and mosques – was in the best interest of the nation.
He said, “We are socially intense people, we live on social interaction; we are known across the world for our music, our dance, our drama.
“We hold our religious gatherings very dear to our hearts and there is no weekend more important for Christianity than this weekend.”
“There is no weekend that Christians are called upon to come together than this weekend. So, there is no weekend this will be hardest for us, the Christians amongst the Nigerian population, than this weekend.
“So, I really call on all of us – Nigerian Christians, Muslims, and whatever the religion that you have, we need to pay a short term price for a long term goal and physical distancing is probably the most important tool,” he stressed.
Ihekweazu believes some Nigerians, especially in Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are still finding it difficult to understand how to keep social distance with the people in their environment.
He, therefore, gave a breakdown of how people can observe social distancing, saying it was simply just to avoid physical contacts.
“I would actually like to introduce a new term that probably better defines what we are trying to do.
“We move from the term social distancing to physical distancing because what we are suggesting is not for you to be socially apart from each other,” the NCDC boss said.
He added, “We are suggesting that we stay physically apart but use technology and any other means available to you to actually increase your social relationships because it is by increasing it through other means that we can maintain our mental well-being, our relationships, as well achieve our goals of keeping the virus apart from us.”
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