Lai Mohammed
Lai Mohammed

Coronavirus: Ten Talking Points from Lai Mohammed’s Press Briefing

NEWS DIGEST – Today, Nigerian Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed held a press briefing where he spoke about various issues including the government efforts in tackling the deadly virus, COVID-19.

The News Digest brings to you the major highlights of the briefing below:

1) Nigeria may witness exponential increase if urgent measures are not taken

“Gentlemen, I don’t intend to sound apocalyptic. But the truth is that time is running out. If we don’t urgently and more aggressively enforce the measures I have just listed, we have a short window within which to stop this pandemic or face an explosion in terms of the cases.”

2) Nigerian government needs more support from the private sector to fight Coronavirus

“We are aware of more private sector support to the FG and will be announcing this after full compilation. We seek the support and cooperation of more capable individuals and organisations in order to defeat this pandemic.”

3) The government recognises and praise the aviation sector efforts so far

“Gentlemen, we have noted the decision of at least five domestic airlines – Air Peace, Aero, Azman, Dana and Arik – to suspend their flight operations. The suspension is a boost for the efforts of the government to check the spread of the pandemic.”

4) There is scaremongering in the media and this would not help the fight against Coronavirus

“In any case, being positive to #coronavirus is not a death sentence, as we can see around the world. There is no need for the kind of scaremongering we are seeing in a section of the media.”

5) President Buhari is not sick and has not been coughing

“…- That President Muhammadu Buhari has been coughing and is now on ventilator. Fake. Fake. Fake. It’s all #fakenews.”

6) Nigeria does not have only two ventilators

“Instances of such #fakenews include:
– That there are only two ventilators in Abuja, out of which one has been commandeered for a top government official
– That a British Airways Flight was due to land in Nigeria on Wednesday despite the closure of all international airports”.

7) Speculation on the health status of people relating to Coronavirus is wrong

“A section of the traditional media has also been engaging in scaremongering and irresponsible reporting on the disease. It is wrong to speculate on those who are positive or negative for coronavirus without any empirical information”.

8) Nigerians should not panic as the Federal government is on top of the crisis.

“We appeal to Nigerians not to panic. It is said that panic is our greatest enemy. The Federal Government is determined to work with the good people of Nigeria to defeat #Covid19. And defeat the disease we will”.

9) Nigeria is considering banning inter-state travels and closing motor parks

“- Stopping inter-state/inter-town travels, except for essential services.

– Closing all motor parks and inter-state rail stations. Already, all
train movements nationwide have been stopped”.

10) Decision taken by Nigerian government is in the best interest of Nigerians

“Nigerian government will be considering and announcing new measures from time to time, but rest assured that whatever decisions are taken will be in the best
interest of Nigerians.”