Nigerian federal government has debunked a message that has been making rounds on social media, claiming the outbreak of monkeypox in some parts of the country resulted from the alleged free medical care by the government in the affected areas.
The message claimed the outbreak of monkeypox in Bayelsa was the result of a failed clandestine population control using biological agents and urged readers not to take part in any free medical programme declared by government.
The minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, October 8, said Nigerians should disregard the report which, he alleged was apparently being spread by those to fit into a sinister agenda.
He said: ”The Federal Government has not conducted any free medical service or care in either Bayelsa or Rivers state, as alleged in the fake report being circulated. So that could not have been the cause of the outbreak of Monkeypox in both states.
“Monkeypox is a virus found only in monkeys and it is rare in human beings. It belongs to the same family as Chickenpox and Smallpox.
”It is suspected that someone may have contracted it by eating monkey meat, thus triggering the current outbreak.”
He assured that no effort will be spared in curtailing the spread of the disease.
The cases were reportedly recorded in Port Harcourt, the capital of the state.
Leadership reports that the state’s health commissioner, Professor Princewill Chike, announced the incidents as he spoke with journalists on Friday, October 6.