Premium Times (Abuja)

13 August 2014

Nigeria: State Dismisses Report of Indian Doctors' Forced to Treat Ebola Patients

The Federal Government on Tuesday dismissed the report that some Indian medical doctors claimed they were forced to treat some Ebola patients in a private hospital in Abuja.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who addressed journalists in Abuja said report about doctors' claim were false.

He said the report was misleading and capable of causing panic among members of the public.

Mr. Maku decried the spate of unverified reports on issues relating to the prevalence of the virus in Nigeria and urged the media to act responsibly.

"I read a story in one of the dailies that some Indian doctors were allegedly forced here in Abuja to treat Ebola cases.

"The story is false, fictitious, nothing of such has taken place, it is completely fabricated.

"The doctors' names were not published, the hospitals that claimed they have been forced in Abuja to treat the Ebola cases was not published," Mr. Maku stressed.

He said there was a clear case of attempts by some persons to slander the nation and urged the media to check their facts before reporting.

"Please, we are urging newspapers, radio and television houses and even the social media to cross check your stories before you publish them."

He said the virus was not endemic to Nigeria and had never been found anywhere in Nigeria, stressing that it was imported by a Liberian-American into Nigeria.

According to Mr. Maku, our newspapers must be careful, "the media have done very well but we must not give a leeway for anybody to begin to slander us.

"We are appealing to the Nigerian media, we should not allow our nation to be slandered; this nation operates under the strictest rules of public health.

"If our Nigerian doctors who are on strike were not forced, why should we force any other person, nobody has ever been forced to treat patients with the virus," he said.

The minister said the Federal Government would continue to follow best practices in the management of tested and verified cases of Ebola in Nigeria.

He called for public support, vigilance and understanding in the campaign against the spread of the virus.

(NAN)

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