By Peter Uwumarogie
Mr Alhassan Yahaya, Vice President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zone E, has called for more public awareness on the novel coronavirus to address misconceptions about it and strengthen the fight against it.
In an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Saturday, Yahaya said that the misconceptions posed a lot of danger.
According to him, with sustained awareness against the pandemic, Nigerians who are having different misconceptions about the virus will understand that the virus is real.
He said that getting the people to understand and observe all directives by government and health authorities to curb the pandemic, would impact greatly on the country’s ability to contain the spread.
He said that the role of journalists was key to the success of the fight against coronavirus.
“Today, there are lots of learned people who do not believe that there is coronavirus while some others believe that coronavirus is a concept used to siphon funds.
“We must bring such people to realise that coronavirus is real.
“It is our (journalists’) job to keep sensitising those people who are yet to believe anything about how deadly coronavirus is, until they come to terms that COVID-19 is real and has no boundaries,’’ he said.
Yahaya advised journalists to take precaution while discharging their duties.
“Their safety is what we are concerned about; they are frontline workers rendering timely service to their fatherland.’’
He also urged journalists to rely on COVID-19 committees at state and national levels for information about the pandemic.
“Any fake news puts the credibility of journalists and their organisations at stake,’’ he told NAN.
He called on the Federal Government to consider life insurance for all frontline journalists, adding that palliatives for journalists would encourage them. (NAN)