By Justina Okpanku
Tourists from both Nigeria and overseas have celebrated Christmas festival in Calabar since 2004, enjoying the climax of the Carnival Calabar, the biggest street party in Africa. But this year, they will not venture out, preferring to stay safe at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chairman, Cross River State Carnival, Mr Gab Onah confirmed that 2020 Carnival Calabar will not take place as the state government is determined to curb the spread of Coronavirus. The government has also instructed all nightclubs across the state to shut down till further notice citing the surging virus around the world.
“It is no news that the second wave of COVID-19 is already surging in Nigeria with an increasing number of persons being infected with the virus, especially during this festive period with people travelling from one point to the other in Cross River State,” Onah said in a statement. He quoted Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu’s health directives copiously and stressed that COVID-19 Response Team is calling for immediate action by members of the public to prevent further spread of the virus in the state.
He went ahead to mention measures that must be noted and complied with. These include:
All residents in Cross River State are required to use their facemask at all times in public places. Continuous disregard for this safety protocol shall be met with sanctions;
Use of hand sanitisers and regular washing of hands to avoid infection is strongly recommended for individuals while public and private establishments are required to provide for this in their premises;
Public and private organisations are encouraged to work remotely from home, which is the green zone to reduce contact and prevent the spread of Coronavirus. All health workers and other emergency workers or first responders/ essential service providers will continue to provide services but must protect themselves at all times to avoid infection with;
The 10 pm to 6 am curfew imposed by the state government remains in place.