Federal government has said it is tracing over 4,370 people that have had contact with index cases of the novel Coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19) in Nigeria.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known on Thursday, March 26 in Abuja, while giving an update on the measures being taken by the government to tackle the pandemic.
He told journalists that the government is faced with difficulties of tracing the 4,370 persons, who may have come into the country through the airports, but gave false telephone numbers and addresses.
The minister added that;
We urge those who have had contact with suspected cases to immediately report to the authorities. We urge Nigerians to support the authorities in this regard, because we are on the verge of reaching the level of community spread. We must stop this immediately or we will record exponential cases in the days ahead.
Lai Mohammed noted that being positive to Coronavirus is not a death sentence, and there is no justification for people not to surrender themselves for test.
He said some Nigerians, who flew into the country from overseas, filled wrong addresses and phone numbers in their forms, making it difficult to trace them when the need arose.
In his words, the Minister explained that;
We are not getting the kind of cooperation that this moment deserves from Nigerians. Many are busy engaging in meaningless criticisms instead of complying with the stipulated directives to keep people safe.
He added that;
Some Nigerians defied orders to stay away from large gatherings, while some religious leaders willfully flouted the directives to ensure social distancing. The government is doing its best, but we need the citizens to do their best too.
The minister revealed that the government would have to use “strong enforcement” for people to comply with directives aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.