The Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus says it will not be distracted by the fake news making the rounds that its members are collecting N500,000 daily sitting allowance.Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and. culture and a member of the task force stated this when he featured at a Nigeria Television Authority Programme, “Tuesday Live”Mohammed who reiterated that fake news is competing with the fight against Coronavirus said the purveyors of the evil are bent at distracting the government and discrediting those championiing the course.
“The motives behind the upsurge are to distract the government and discredit the main actors so that they can be battling with the fake news instead of Covid 19“Some of the fake new are totally ridiculous but some are a mixture of fiction and science that make them sometimes believable.
“At the end of the day, they are meant to achieve the purposes of distracting government and castigate those who are carrying out the policies and programmes of government by accusing them of corruption“For instance, the allegation that each member of the task force are getting half a million everyday as sitting allowance has led to many of us receiving accounts from many people.
“Those who believe that if you are getting such huge amount of money daily, you must share it with them, but we will not be distracted,” he said.Mohammed said that the government is deploying many strategies to contain fake news among which are, campaign to media houses, cooperation with Facebook and Google.
“On Facebook for instance,anytime we flag any particular item or story it will be stamped “FAKE” and be removed from the platform and this has gone a long way in checkmating this pandemic.“We have made reports to various security organisations on this and a lot of things are being down to track them.“However what is needed is to be educating Nigerians to shun these purveyors and know that there are only two sources for credible information on Covid-19“It is either from the daily media conference by the task force and the media appearances of members of the task force or the website of National Centre for Disease Control which updates its information on this pandemic every minute,” he said.
The Minister of State for Health, Sen. Olorunnibe Mamora who was also a guest on the programme confirmed that he received the donation. to the country by the UN on behalf of the government.He said the first consignments he received in Lagos included 50 ventilators, 3.5 million Personal Protective Equipment comprising of gloves,face masks and allied consumables.Dr Fiona Braka, the leader of WHO Immunisation Team in Nigeria who contributed to the programme via Skype commended the federal government for efforts at combating Covid-19 pandemic.Braka, a Public Health professional said WHO is providing guidance and support for Cocis-19 fight in the country base on the recommendation of the task force.“We will like to commend the measures the Nigeria authority has put in place starting with identification and recommendation for management when we have the outbreak.
“The whole of governmenr’s approach is evident in the Presidential Task Force put in place with nine ministers cutting accross all sectors , social, economic, humanitarian and other dimensions.“We applaud the setting up of the coordination body, quick recommendation for response starting from detection, testing, efforts put in place for screening at all points of entry.“We commend what Nigeria put in place in all these and the rapid expansion with testing capacity moving from five laboratories to 12 laboratories and the possible expansion,” she said.
The WHO representative also commendes the efforts of government in training and building the capacity of over 7000 health workers in fighting the epidemic. For his part, Austin Agbolahor, the AIG in Charge of Operations in the Police Force Headquarters, who also spoke via Skype appealed to Nigerians to obey the simple instructions of stay at home to defeat Covid-19.(NAN)