The Gombe State Taskforce on COVID-19 has trained 50 journalist from various media organizations in the state on the role of Media in checking the spread of coronavirus.
The Ag. Director Public Health, Gombe state Ministry of Health Dr Abubakar Kwami, one of the resource persons, said journalist had a vital role to play in the fight against Covid-19 through their reportage.
According to him, journalist need to sensitize and inform the public that as long as they are not infected, they remain vulnerable to coved-19 irrespective, of their position and status in the society.
“Behavioral change regarding covid-19 matters a lot because some people perceive that they are not vulnerable to the disease.
“Use your office to educate the public that Coronavirus spares no one, hence taking precautions is the best thing to do,” he said.
Kwami said the disease was killing a significant number of people, hence the need for the public to take preventive measures like social distancing, constant hand washing and use of sanitizer.
He further urged the journalist to report only genuine information gathered from stakeholders in the fight against the disease instead of misleading the public.
Dr Nuhu Ville, the state Epidemiologist, Gombe state Ministry of Health ,said journalist had central role to play in the fight against covid-19 because people understood them better when they disseminated the information.
He said Covid-19 had different mode of transmission and the virus could be transmitted even without showing the sign and symptoms.
He further urged journalist to always differentiate between suspected and confirmed cases, as well as isolation and quarantine, while reporting.
Ville said that some of the symptoms of Covid-19 included dry cough, high fever, and difficulty in breathing, among other symptoms.
In his remark, Malam Saidu Malala, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Gombe state council, commended the state government for organizing the workshop, which he described as timely.
He assured the state government of the commitment of journalists in reporting Covid-19 as well as other public health issues.
He also commended Gov. Inuwa Yahaya for appointing professionals in diverse fields as members of state Taskforce on Covid-19.