'We're tracking fake news on coronavirus', Lai Mohammed warns
Lai Mohammed says the Nigerian government is committed towards educating every single Nigerian on the dangers of coronavirus.
During a media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Mohammed said the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 is invested in making sure Nigerians have access to only correct information about the pandemic that has disrupted social and economic activities.
The minister said the task force is stepping up efforts to ensure enlightenment campaigns through the media reach all nooks and crannies of the country so that misinformation doesn't take over.
He said the goal is to ensure that Nigerians are well educated on the principle of social distancing, and the need to avoid large gatherings in a bid to contain the virus.
"We are also tracking and refuting fake news and misinformation like the one that the Federal Government will pay N30,000 to all Nigerians with verified BVN, as well as a report on some false remedies and cures.
"We've also debunked a newspaper report that some 26 Americans who flew into Nigeria recently were not screened before being allowed in," he said.
With a cure for the virus yet to be found, many people across the world have been resorting to self-help in a bid to prevent infection.
For weeks since the disease has ravaged the world, authorities have had to battle against fake news about purported prevention tips peddled by different sources from all corners of the world.
This week, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had to rubbish some of these tips, warning Nigerians to not cause further harm to themselves in the process.
The agency said preventive measures such as drinking palm oil, drinking hot lemon, eating garlic and ginger, gargling warm water and salt, or using special oils are all useless against the disease.
"We're upscaling to ensure the (enlightenment) jingles are carried by radio stations in all the states of the federation and the FCT in as many indigenous languages as possible," Mohammed assured on Wednesday.
Nigeria has recorded a total of 151 coronavirus cases, as of April 1, in 12 states across the country. Nine people have recovered and been discharged, while two people with underlying illnesses have died as a result of coronavirus infection.
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