Why Nigerians Shouldn’t Panic Over Coronavirus – Experts

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Following the confirmation of the first case of Coronavirus in the country late Thursday/early yesterday, the Federal Government has appealled to Nigerians not to panic, assuring that it is well-equipped to detect and handle any possible case or cases of the disease.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the appeal, yesterday, in Abuja, urged Nigerians not to fall for the antics of purveyors of fakes news and disinformation, adding that government was working with Facebook to bring down any misleading information.

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He said: “We know that at times like this, purveyors of fake news and disinformation usually ramp up their acts. Facebook has asked Nigerians to report any false or misleading report on Facebook and Instagram pages, so they can immediately bring them down.

“They have also assured us that they are taking preemptive action to remove any false or harmful messages about this epidemic and public health in Nigeria 24/7.

“All that Nigerians are required to do is to flag any false or misleading report on the epidemic and Facebook will remove any such report. With Coronavirus now in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is intensifying its public sensitisation and enlightenment campaign on the disease.”

Mohammed noted that media agencies of the ministry had been directed to intensify ongoing sensitisation and enlightenment campaign to arm Nigerians with the necessary information to stay well, observing that the National Orientation Agency (NOA), with its wide reach in all the 774 local governments, was pushing the various sensitisation/enlightenment programmes to all parts of the country, translating the campaign to the major indigenous languages to expand their reach.

In the same vein, the Federal Government has insisted that the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the country was not caused by screening failure at the airport, just as it said it would not place restriction on international flights and travels into and out of the country.

The government stated that contact tracing and necessary measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday, urged passengers, airlines and the general public at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos not to entertain any fear during the emergency simulation exercise.

Its General Manager in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, in a statement explained that the exercise was an operational requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for aerodrome.

Following the confirmation of the first case of Coronavirus in the country late Thursday/early yesterday, the Federal Government has appealled to Nigerians not to panic, assuring that it is well-equipped to detect and handle any possible case or cases of the disease.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who made the appeal, yesterday, in Abuja, urged Nigerians not to fall for the antics of purveyors of fakes news and disinformation, adding that government was working with Facebook to bring down any misleading information.

He said: “We know that at times like this, purveyors of fake news and disinformation usually ramp up their acts. Facebook has asked Nigerians to report any false or misleading report on Facebook and Instagram pages, so they can immediately bring them down.

“They have also assured us that they are taking preemptive action to remove any false or harmful messages about this epidemic and public health in Nigeria 24/7.

“All that Nigerians are required to do is to flag any false or misleading report on the epidemic and Facebook will remove any such report. With Coronavirus now in Nigeria, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is intensifying its public sensitisation and enlightenment campaign on the disease.”

Mohammed noted that media agencies of the ministry had been directed to intensify ongoing sensitisation and enlightenment campaign to arm Nigerians with the necessary information to stay well, observing that the National Orientation Agency (NOA), with its wide reach in all the 774 local governments, was pushing the various sensitisation/enlightenment programmes to all parts of the country, translating the campaign to the major indigenous languages to expand their reach.

In the same vein, the Federal Government has insisted that the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the country was not caused by screening failure at the airport, just as it said it would not place restriction on international flights and travels into and out of the country.

The government stated that contact tracing and necessary measures have been put in place to prevent the spread of the deadly disease.

Meanwhile, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday, urged passengers, airlines and the general public at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos not to entertain any fear during the emergency simulation exercise.

Its General Manager in charge of Corporate Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, in a statement explained that the exercise was an operational requirement of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for aerodrome.

A yet to be identified Italian working in Nigeria, who returned from Milan, Italy, on February 25, was confirmed to be positive by the Virology Laboratory of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), part of the Laboratory Network of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, at a press conference, yesterday, to give update on the first confirmed case, said the carrier was properly screened at the airport, but had no symptom(s) as at that time, adding that such scenario is not peculiar to Nigeria, as many countries had seen the virus entering because the person who brought it had no symptoms at the point of screening.

Ehanire also said the identity of the patient and where he works would not be disclosed, as it against international standard, adding that government had approached the airline to obtain the contact and addresses of those the carrier had been in contact with for proper monitoring.

The minister stated that both the port air services and NCDC were being funded to curtail the virus, saying: “The man from Italy walked through the screening with no symptoms and by the time he got to his house, I think a day or two after, he started to feel unwell and wisely enough, he went to the hospital, where the doctor examined him.

“They found that malaria was negative and they know his travel history and they immediately refer him to test at LUTH testing centre and there, it was discovered that he was positive of the virus and was immediately placed on isolation.

“In fact, he had been put on isolation on the referral hospital and the special ambulance where the driver had been kitted. So, there was preemptive thinking on the part of the hospital and drivers who transported him under special condition.

 

Source: The Guardian