A group, COVID-19 Incident Volunteers, has warned Nigerians to ignore April Fool Day jokes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The April 1 tradition sees families, web users and corporations embrace practical jokes.
But the group urged Nigerians to desist from such act as the global death toll mounts and billions remain under some form of lockdown.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria has recorded 139 confirmed coronavirus cases.
However, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, hinted that about 39,000 people may be infected with the virus in the state.
In a publicity message by the leader of the group, Saheed Ashafa, the volunteers described as inappropriate the act of playing pranks on people in this “sober moment”.
The CIV, which is a project of the MSSNLagos, in its message titled ‘#AprilFool: Jokes Apart, Coronavirus Jokes Not!’, said, “We heard of the positive status of many top government officials, celebrities and public figures, from across the globe, simply because they are news personalities.
“Many ‘unknown persons’ have also been infected with the viral disease, who were never in the news; but it remains a piece of bad news to their loved ones. Alas! They’re actually in the news of global counting of victims of the #COVID-19 pandemic.
“Superpowers have lost control and their economy is in shambles. The mighty are being humbled while developing nations are trembling.
“Coronavirus plays not to hide and seek. It’s killing thousands and causing pandemonium across the world. Please, ignore April Fool Day.
“We don’t have to make jokes about lives affected and to be affected. If you or a close relation is affected, you’ll never know of jokes and would even weep if you see others laughing.
“Let’s not #AprilFool and add panic to that which is shaking the world, causing pains, the lockdown of states, halting international summits, suspending events and occasions, shutting businesses and imprisoning humans indoor.”