Nigerians Frustrating Efforts to Stop COVID-19 Spread—FG

By Dipo Olowookere

The federal government has expressed its anger over the way some Nigerians are frustrating efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, at a press conference on Thursday, said some citizens, who flew into the country from high risk nations, deliberately filled wrong information, making tracing them when the need arises very difficult.

“Let me say, without mincing words, that we are not getting the kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians.

“Many are busy engaging in meaningless criticisms instead of complying with the stipulated directives to keep people safe.

“Some Nigerians who flew into the country from overseas filled wrong addresses and phone numbers in their forms, making it difficult to trace them when the need arises.

“Some Nigerians defied orders to stay away from large gatherings while some religious leaders wilfully flouted the directives to ensure social distancing.

“The government is doing its best but we need the citizens to do their best too. We have now gone past the stage of persuasion. It’s time for strong enforcement,” he stated.

He said this aggressive enforcement is aimed at containing the spread of the virus through social distancing, contact tracing, testing, isolation of suspected cases, and ensuring that our messaging gets down to the grassroots.

He said other measures include stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services; closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations; and using fire-fighting and other adaptable vehicles and personnel to fumigate cities and towns.

According to him, “We have 4,370 people of interest whom we are tracing. We urge those who have had contact with suspected cases to immediately report to the authorities.

“We urge Nigerians to support the authorities in this regard. We are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread. We must stop this immediately or we will record exponential cases in the days ahead. There is no better way to say this.”

Mr Mohammed urged Nigerians not to panic, saying, “It is said that panic is our greatest enemy. The federal government is determined to work with the good people of Nigeria to defeat COVID-19. And defeat the disease we will.”

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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