The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has noted that many people are refusing to get tested despite knowing that they have had physical contact with confirmed cases of the coronavirus due to stigmatization.
He noted this while speaking on Tuesday, on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme, ‘Good Morning Nigeria.’
“The challenge we have today in Nigeria is that of people trying to stigmatise those who have coronavirus,” he said.
“They did not come out for testing because they are afraid of the stigmatization if they turn out to test positive for the virus.”
The minister, also a member of the Presidential Task Force for the control of the novel coronavirus, revealed that they are in search of about 6000 people who have had contact with confirmed cases or people with travel history to countries with high index cases.
Refuting allegations that some people have been denied access to the test, Mohammed stated that there are conditions for the test to be carried out.
He explained that it is needless to take the test when people have no symptoms and no contact with anybody who has tested positive or with recent travel history abroad, particularly to countries with high index cases.
However, he advised the citizens to comply with the recommended hygiene procedure, maintain social distance and stay as home as much as possible.
He further advised that if they have had contact with someone who tested positive and begin to see symptoms of the COVID-19, they should call them for necessary actions to be taken.
Mohammed then enjoined Nigerians to stop stigmatizing people who test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), while calling on the media to stop mentioning names when reporting coronavirus cases except when such persons come out to announce their status.