Peeved by the continued activities of fake news merchants, the Federal Government on Friday, April 17, 2020, said it has launched an investigation into the origin of some fake news reports which have been distracting it from the onslaught against the Novel Coronavirus.
Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the presidential taskforce PTF on COVID-19 and secretary to the government of the Federation SGF, announced this during the daily briefing of the team in Abuja.
He said; “The PTF continues to work with other sectors of the government managing the economic, security and other aspects of the national response.
Early this week the Inspector general was here to brief on the readiness of his men.
We wish to reassure Nigerians that the entire security apparatus of the nation is awake and alive to protect you. In return, we appeal further that you should please remain law-abiding and obey the orders and other guidelines.
“I want to use this opportunity to emphatically warn all purveyors of fake news capable of misleading the public and causing distraction in our collective effort to fight this war.
The objective of the restriction orders is to save the lives of Nigerians from the pandemic and not to cause pains.
The Police and other services have launched investigations into the various reports and the Presidential Task Force shall update you when it is concluded”, he stated.
According to him, the Federal Government is working to expand the beneficiaries of its palliatives, adding that the Taskforce would soon be in Kano state to evaluate its level of preparedness and offer guidance to the state authorities on how to manage the COVID-19 situation.
“The PTF has been receiving feedback from the public on the challenges and efforts are being intensified to make the palliatives approved by the government reach you with ease.
This delivery is being done in close collaboration with the State authorities. Similarly, arrangements to finalize modalities for the expansion of the palliatives are in top gear.
I use this opportunity to thank all public-spirited persons and corporate bodies that have voluntarily provided food and other palliatives to the poor, the vulnerable, the sick and the aged.
“As you are aware, so many Nigerians are clamoring to return home.
While we are finalizing arrangements for their evacuation, isolation, and testing, I am pleased to inform you that the PTF has developed the Protocol on Points of Entry that will address this development going forward. Details will be unveiled subsequently.
“Recent data released by the NCDC has shown a rise in the number of cases in Kano.
The State Government has in response to the development imposed a lockdown and curfew in the state.
The PTF will visit the state to evaluate the state of readiness and to guide the authorities in the management of the situation”, he added.
On his part, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire said the recent marked increase in the number of new COVID-19 cases is “likely due to scaled-up implementation of our new case-finding strategy, as well as the result of rising community transmission”.
According to him, “with house-to-house and cluster testing, and using the revised criteria for sample collection, the yield has increased.
More people with COVID-19 are being detected and transferred to treatment centers. There will still be more social mobilization for community testing at the grassroots level and Isolation of positive cases.
We shall ensure the right message is disseminated to control ongoing transmission”.
He also urged Nigerians not to give in to fake news, urging peddlers of the same to desist from such act.
“In the interest of the general public, the Ministry of Health, through Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reserves the right to investigate suspected cases of COVID-19, who are not complying with advisory.
Also, I urge citizens not to pay attention to rumors and sensationalism, just as I advise purveyors of fake news, to desist from spreading fake news or misinformation that cause fear and panic”.