After the spread of COVID-19 which originated from the large city of Wuhan which is the capital city of Hubei province in the People’s Republic of China. several beliefs have emerged as regards to the origin, prevention, treatment and other aspects of the disease. Many health experts believe that the new strain of coronavirus likely originated in bats or pangolins. Since then, the virus has mostly spread through person-to-person contact.
Misinformation and Fake News have become the order of the day as people disseminate these via social media platforms, text messages as well as the state-owned media in some countries. even religious leaders have not been left out of this misinformation. it has been recorded that in some countries, religious leaders have cajoled their followers into taking harmful substances with the claim of protecting them from the dreaded virus, this has also contributed to the loss of several lives.
In January 2020, the BBC published an article about coronavirus misinformation, citing two January 24 articles from The Washington Times that claimed the virus is a part of a Chinese biological weapons program based at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).
According to African Arguments, another belief, especially in a country like Nigeria, is from political ideologues who have been trying to exploit the pandemic to influence public opinion along partisan lines. Supporters of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have sought to create a narrative that it handled the Ebola crisis far better than the current government is dealing with COVID-19. The recent confirmation that Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff, has tested positive has given the opposition new ammunition, though this has been complemented with unsubstantiated rumours that ventilators have been moved from the isolation centre in Abuja to Aso Rock for Kyari’s personal use.
For their part, supporters of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) have sought to politicise the crisis by focusing more on the irresponsible action of individuals linked to the opposition. Confirmation that the son of Atiku Abubakar, the PDP’s 2019 presidential candidate, had contracted the virus was followed by fake photos and videos of the son dancing in clubs, ignoring government isolation advice.
some people are also of the common belief by several people regarding this virus especially in a country like Nigeria to the use of the virus by political leaders to loot more funds from countries of assistance for their selfish gains.
According to the CNN, several prominent individuals and commercial Banks in the country have contributed immensely to the fight against the COVID-19 virus but popular opinion is of the belief that these funds will only be mismanaged and protected by unscrupulous politicians and government parastatals at the detriment of the needy masses.