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  • Writer's pictureProf Rotimi Jaiyesimi

The Nigerian Media needs to step up in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic

The news headline about this Easter weekend released to Nigerians by the Ministry of Interior was the declaration of these days as public holidays. Do Nigerians need to be informed of what is constant as day and night?

The Minister clearly urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to the guidance issued by the relevant health authorities to prevent the spread of the virus in Nigeria. This was a missed opportunity by the media to play its part in reinforcing the message to Nigerians to stay at home this weekend.

One understands the hardship that accompanies the advice to stay at home. However, the number of confirmed cases and death from Covid-19 in the nation is rising albeit relatively small numbers. This, more likely than not, is an under representation as testing for the virus is limited. We are beginning to see cases due to community spread.

Only three states of the 36 states have had a lockdown policy though the infection has been reported in 17 states. There is strong evidence that lockdowns and social distancing are important in containing the spread of this virus.

To fail to make this the headline at a time where friends and families get together to celebrate Easter calls into question the judgement of the editorial boards of the concerned media organisations.

The media has a strong influence on the citizens and is usually their source of information.The headlines should have been urging Nigerians to stay at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus. The media needs to step up in the fight against the spread of the disease. Let’s save lives. Each Nigerian Life is priceless.

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