The Bayelsa Government has cautioned the media in the state against spreading fake news on the novel coronavirus, but to disseminate confirmed information on the disease.
Dr Iniodi Apoku, the Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa State Ministry of Health gave the advice on Monday in Yenagoa at a one-day sensitisation programme for the media on the disease.
Apoku reiterated that government had the capacity to prevent the spread of the virus as it had created disease surveillance groups across the eight local government areas of the state.
He said “our call on the media is to intimate them on the state government’s activities in controlling and preventing the deadly coronavirus disease.
“We urge the media to focus on reporting correct information about the disease. Avoid disseminating fake news and always endeavour to get correct information from Ministry of Health.
“There is no cause for alarm because the state, in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Diseases Control (NCDC) is ready to prevent any possible spread of the virus.
“To prevent the disease, imbibe regular washing of hands with soap under running water and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser frequently because there is no vaccine yet for the treatment.
“Avoid close contact with anyone having symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing, among others.”
On Brass Local Government Area where Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), an affiliate of Italian energy firm, Eni, operates, Apoku said that health workers, including disease surveillance groups had been deployed to the area.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the index case of COVID-19 in Nigeria has been traced to be an Italian who came into the country on Feb. 25.
Dr Yerinbuluemi Stowe, the Director of Public Health, Bayelsa Ministry of Health, said the government was making necessary plans to ensure that the disease did not spread to the state.