LASG Debunks False Information On Social Media About Covid-19

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Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has urged Nigerians  to debunk false and unverified information on COVID19 that does not emanate from the approved communication channels of the Lagos State Government, the Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Recall that, a viral WhatsApp voice note by a lady who identified herself as a volunteer NCDC ad hoc Staff and a broadcast message by a popular legal practitioner.

In view of this, Abayomi explained that views expressed in the messages which have gone viral on various social media platforms are incorrect, misleading and intended to create unnecessary panic and fear in people.

Said he, “Our attention has been drawn to various misleading information in the media space about our response to the COVID19 pandemic. Of note is a short recorded message allegedly made by an ad hoc staff of NCDC and a broadcast message purported to have emanated from a popular legal practitioner. I wish to state unequivocally that these messages are false and intended to downplay and erode the successes that have been recorded so far in the battle against COVID19 in Lagos State”.

“It is sad and disheartening for citizens especially opinion moulders who are expected to use their positions and channels of communication as a tool to sensitize the populace on safety measures especially at this critical time to indulge in spreading misleading and panicky news to the public. This is indeed unacceptable, it is demoralizing and we appeal to those who indulge in such shameful acts to desist forthwith or face the full wrath of the law”.

The Commissioner stated that the claim in one of the viral messages that the State government does not have the capacity for COVID19 response is a figment of the imagination of the author blurred by self denial of actual reality of the gains made so far in fight against the infection.

“Though our level of preparedness in Lagos have been applauded both nationally and internationally, we will still not rest on oars but continue to expand our capacity and reinvigorate our response against the disease as much as we can in line with our resolve to break the chain of transmission”, he said.

Responding to the other viral audio message which labelled Amuwo-Odofin LGA as a high risk area for #COVID19 transmission, the Commissioner cautioned against labelling any area as endemic or high risk noting however that strategy to break the chain of community transmission is currently being implemented.

He advised citizens to practice hand hygiene, observe physical distance when outdoor, avoid large gatherings and use a face mask when in public. He noted a combination of these especially with the strict adherence to the sit-at-home order will help break the chain of community transmission.

Abayomi while restating the commitment of the State government in containing the spread of the disease, appealed to members of the public to verify any information on #COVID19 in Lagos from the Ministry of Health before circulating or broadcasting.

He maintained that the strategies deployed by the State in the ongoing fight against COVID19 are yielding the desired results stressing that the increase in number of cases being recorded is a testament to the success of the active case search in the community as well as establishment of sample collection sites at the local government areas.

” The implementation of active case search in communities and creation of sample collection sites are part of the strategy to ramp up our testing capacity, quickly identify cases, commence prompt management and prevent deaths that may be occasioned by late presentation”, Abayomi said.

He noted that anyone with symptoms associated with COVID19 can call the 08000CORONA toll free line or visit any of the designated sample collection sites closest to them to request for a test.

“We have a crop of experienced and highly trained COVID19 response team who are ready to attend to you whenever you reach out to them. All you simply need to do is call our toll free line 08000CORONA or visit any of the designated sample collection centres closest to you”, the Commissioner said.

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