CLAIM: A screenshot of a tweet by Citizen of Nigeria (@FRNcitizen) has been circulating on WhatsApp and other social media platforms claiming that one of the 15 medical personnel sent to Nigeria by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCCECC) tested positive for COVID-19.
The tweet read, ‘’ BREAKING: one of the Chinese Doctors in Nigeria tested positive for Coronavirus. Smh’’
FACT: On April 9, 2020, a team of 15 Chinese medical experts, including doctors, nurses and laboratory technicians, arrived Nigeria to help strengthen the country’s capacity in the management of COVID-19 cases.
Checks by fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) revealed that the tweet by FRNCitizen which already had 1,073 retweets and 1,422 likes as at 11:58 AM on April 14 had been deleted and the account removed from the platform.
CDD’s checks also showed that the content of the tweet posted on Facebook with 75 shares, 48 comments and 94 reactions as midday, April 16, 2020.
Further checks showed the tweet did not mention the source of the information as no credible news organisation reported that any member of the Chinese team tested positive for COVID-19.
Also, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has debunked the claim as false.
The NCDC said in a tweet on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, stated: “The rumour circulating that a doctor who was brought in to support Nigeria’s public health response has tested positive for #COVID19 is FALSE.”
The NCDC while urging all Nigerians to take responsibility during the pandemic said COVID-19 is not peculiar to any ethnic group or nationality and the claim should be disregarded.
In a similar move, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 debunked the reports.
Speaking through the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at the PTFCOVID-19 daily media briefing in Abuja on Wednesday, April 16, 2020, said the report was false.
The claim that one of the 15 Chinese Doctors in Nigeria tested positive to Coronavirus is false as there is no credible evidence to support the claim.
CDD urges members of the public to verify all information before sharing as sharing false information during this pandemic is capable of endangering lives and peace of Nigeria.