Five people were arrested in Abuja for falsely claiming that they had contracted the deadly Coronavirus disease.
They were said to have stormed the Wuse District Hospital claiming that one of them had been infected by Coronavirus.
The incident reportedly sparked panic and confusion and also disrupted normal health service delivery at the hospital.
The pranksters included Peggy Shandi, Abayomi Adedoyin, David Enemigin, Priscilla Ajesola and Jacob Oji.
Parading the suspects at the Wuse Zone 3 Divisional Police Station on Saturday, the FCT police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manza said the suspects claimed to be “playing out a script about the virus” without the knowledge or authorization of the relevant authorities of the FCTA.
He said, “The FCT police command is still investigating the case and on the conclusion, the suspects will be arraigned in court.”
The Chief Press Secretary to the FCT minister, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, said in a statement that the Director of Public Health, Dr Josephine Okechukwu, confirmed that there was no confirmed case of Coronavirus in the FCT and advised residents to remain calm.
Okechukwu said the action of the alleged pranksters was very wrong as it was capable of creating pandemonium, especially in a hospital environment where the alleged action took place.
She said if such false information was released on social media, it would do great damage not just to the FCT but the country at large.
The Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Media, Malam Sani Abubakar, said the FCT Administration had taken steps to ensure that all contagious diseases were well contained within the FCT.
He described the actions of the suspects as appalling “as it disrupted the normal health service delivery process in the hospital and was capable of spreading fear and panic across the FCT and indeed the country.”
One of the suspects, Peggy Shandi, said their action was “merely a prank about the coronavirus.”