The Federal Government is asking Nigerians not to fall for the antics of purveyors of fakes news and disinformation on social media over the new case of Coronavirus recorded in the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, at a news briefing in Abuja on Friday.
Newsmen reported on Friday that the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, confirmed that an Italian citizen who works in Nigeria just returned from Milan on the 25th of February 2020 with the virus and is in stable conditions.
According to Mr Mohammed, a partnership with social networking site, Facebook, has been reached to help check the spread of fake news on the COVID 19.
“We know that at times like this, purveyors of fake news and disinformation usually ramp up their acts. We are therefore urging Nigerians not to fall for the antics of purveyors of fakes news and disinformation.
“Fortunately, Facebook is working with us in this regard. They have 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,” he stated.
The minister added that media agencies have been mandated to take up the responsibility of enlightenment and up-to-date reports on the efforts made by health authorities in the country.
“Media agencies of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, like the NTA, FRCN, NAN, and VON, have been directed to intensify their ongoing sensitization and enlightenment campaigns to arm Nigerians with the necessary information to stay well.”
He added that Features on the disease (prevention, treatment, etc.) are also being written and disseminated.
The Minister, therefore, appealed to all Nigerians not to panic, as the Government is well-equipped to detect and handle any possible case or cases.