The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerians to ignore the rumour making the rounds on social media about possible imposition of another lockdown on the economy.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, issued the caution in a statement by the Director Information in his office, Willie Bassey, to dispel the rumour, which has gained traction since Wednesday.
The rumour became so pervasive that most public and private schools earlier scheduled to reopen this week began to consider contingent plans to alter their calendar in anticipation of any formal announcement of another lockdown order by the government.
Other sectors of the economy were equally not spared the apprehension, as they began to adjust their plans to avoid being taken unawares by any confirmation of the rumour.
But, Mr. Mustapha urged Nigerians to ignore the wild rumour and team up with the government to tackle the spread of the virus, even as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced details of fresh casualties of the second wave of the pandemic.
The SGF was reacting to a misinformation spread on social media that the Federal Government was contemplating another lockdown this weekend.
“The PTF wishes to state categorically that there is no such consideration at any of its meetings, nor has any recommendation been made to this effect to the President,” the statement from the SGF’s office said.
The PTF frowned at what it called “unpatriotic misinformation” it said was capable of causing unnecessary panic and anxiety among the populace.
Fresh casualty figures
But, the NCDC announced in its official website latest statistics on the pandemic, which on Thursday Nigeria recorded fresh 23 COVID-19-related deaths and 1,479 new infections on January 14.
The agency said the 23 new deaths brought the country’s COVID-19 death figure so far to about 1,405.
Also, the NCDC said the 1,479 new infections reported over the last one day from 24 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), raising the country’s registered cases to about 105,478.
About 83, 830 people who contacted the disease have since been discharged from various medical isolation centres across the country.
Those discharged on Thursday, the NCDC confirmed, included 642 community recoveries in Lagos, 312 in Oyo and 99 in Plateau managed in line with stipulated guidelines.
Details of the cases showed Lagos was in the lead with 697 new infections, followed by the FCT with 201; Nasarawa, 80; Plateau 74; Rivers, 72; Edo, 46; Adamawa, 43, and Osun, 39.
Others were Akwa Ibom, 35; Delta, 3; Anambra, 27; Oyo, 24; Kano, 21; Abia, 19; Enugu, 19; Ogun, 18; Sokoto, 12; Bauchi, 7; Taraba, 7; Ekiti, 4; Gombe, 4; Imo, 4; Bayelsa, 2; Jigawa, 2; and Zamfara,1.