Police in Nigeria’s Federal capital of Abuja has arrested five persons for causing a scare over the deadly coronavirus.
The five were made up of four men; Peggy Shandi, Abayomi Adedoyin, David Gold Enemigin, Jacob Oji and a woman, Priscilla Ajesola.
According to the Wuse Zone 3 Divisional Police PRO, Anjuguri Manzal, one of the suspects, Shandi said that their action was merely a prank about the Coronavirus and not to cause any sort of chaos.
The suspects claimed to be playing out a script about the virus without the knowledge or authorisation of the relevant authorities of the FCTA.
Sahara Reports said the suspects went to the Wuse District Hospital claiming that one of them had been infected with Coronavirus.
The incident led to panic and disruption of normal health service delivery at the hospital.
Coronavirus not in Nigeria
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Health in Abuja has assured residents of the state that there is no confirmed case of Coronavirus in the city nor in Nigeria and advised them to remain calm.
Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu, said the action of the alleged pranksters was wrong and had the potential of creating pandemonium, especially in a hospital environment.
The deadly coronavirus which started from the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province has affected more than 1,000 people in China with more than 100 confirmed dead.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the novel coronavirus outbreak as a global health emergency.
There have been several other reported cases in Europe and in the US.
No case has been reported in Africa yet as the few suspect cases turned out to be negative after further tests.
In Ghana, the Ministry of Health says it has made adequate arrangements to prevent an outbreak in the country and also ensure that the disease would be properly managed should a case be reported in the country.