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Coronavirus: Reps declare reports of 15 positive Members as fake news

... Doubt authenticity of Kyari's letters on Members refusing tests at Airports

The House of Representatives has declared as fake news, the online reports that 15 Members of the Green Chamber have tested positive to the dreaded coronavirus.

Online media platforms had reported that 15 Members of the House of Representatives and 10 Senators are coronavirus positive and are receiving treatment in private hospitals.

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But Benjamin Kalu, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs denied the existence of such, at least among Members of the Green Chamber.

Kalu while responding to questions during briefing in Abuja on Tuesday said the House Commitees on Health have investigated the reports but found that is was fake as the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) do not have such data when contacted.

“Some of the people making these references have not declared their source of information, the integrity of any information is determined by the source from where it is coming. If it’s not legitimate source, then it becomes a fake news.

“We related through the Committee on Health Services and Committee on Health Institutions and I asked them as my colleagues who are the Chairmen of this particular committees, whether or not they have verified with the NCDC to find out the records of how many Members of the House of Representatives that have been infected, and to my greatest joy that story was a fake news.

“NCDC could not confirm that any Member of the House of Representatives was infected by coronavirus. And until we get such formal documented authentic information, we consider the information that is trending online as fake news”.

The House Spokesman also doubted the authenticity of the supposed letter written by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari to the Speaker of the House of Representatives that some Members who recently travelled abroad refused to be tested on return at the Airports.

Kalu argued that: “as for the supposed letter by Abba Kyari, some of you were in the Chambers today and you know how the President communicates to the House. When such communication comes, it is usually read by the Speaker to the Members.

“There was no such letter that was read by the Speaker today as coming from the office of the President, so that places a doubt on the integrity of the source.

“But either way, the content of that letter no matter where it originated from, is calling for Members or any other person in the country to make use of the facilities at the airport whether international or domestic.

“All our Airports now have video cameras, and all the Airlines have the manifest. It’s easy to track so I will want the NCDC to give us any documented evidence establishing a nexus between the Members of the House of Representatives and such disobedience to the directives of the Health Department. For now we don’t have that and I will like to treat that as fake news”.

 

James Kwen, Abuja

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