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CLAIM: One of Nigerian news platform, on May 6, 2020, published an article on a United States of America based nurse claiming that there is no Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The article, with over 99,000 views, was published based on a video uploaded on YouTube with over 10,000 views as of May 11, 2020.

In the video, the nurse who is from New York made the first claim comparing the city to Nigeria as a nation.

“Well coronavirus in Nigeria, we don’t believe that it’s really there. Because Nigeria’s population is just like New York, and truly if coronavirus is there, trust me we would have had cases more than the United States,” the US-based nurse said.

Further elaborating her claim, the US-based nurse said she does not believe there is a case of the virus infection in Nigeria because, to her, the number does not seem to add up with the nation’s population.

She also queried how patients said to have contracted the disease in Nigeria are being taken care of.

“Who is really taking care of these people? Who are the nurses? Which hospital were they in? How many days were they in the hospital?” the nurse asked.

“So to me and some other Nigerians, we do not believe that Nigeria has the case. I think because of the herbs and home remedies that we are taking, I think it really helps. And this very virus doesn’t survive under heat – so maybe that could be an advantage,” she concluded.

FACT: Checks by fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) show that the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has been tracking the number of cases in Nigeria since the index case was imported on February 27, 2020. 

Also, some notable individuals in the country have contracted the disease including late Abba Kyari, the past Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, who died from complications of COVID-19; the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, among many others.

The nurse’s claim that New York City is just like Nigeria is false as the former has a population of nearly 20 million, while Nigeria’s population is projected at around 200 million

Also, while considering the testing capacity in New York and Nigeria, there is indeed a gap in healthcare and testing of suspected cases of COVID-19.

While New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo on Saturday, April 25, 2020, announced that the city aims at testing 40,000 people daily, Nigeria as a nation is still struggling to test a little above 1,500 people per day.

From the analysis, it does not mean that Nigeria does not have coronavirus, because, even with limited testing capacity, Nigeria already has over 4,000 cases of confirmed positive COVID-19 as at 10 May 2020.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, claims by the nurse that there are no cases of Coronavirus in Nigeria and that New York city’s population can be compared to Nigeria’s are false.

CDD urges the general public to desist from disseminating such disinformation and always verify reports from authorised sources.

You can also forward suspicious messages for verification at +2349062910568 or contact us on twitter: @CDDWestAfrica.

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