…Lagos, Osun, Ondo shut markets
… Cases hit 44 …Osinbajo in self isolation
….Tinubu backs lockdown in Lagos
….Kyari aides test positive
By Ayo Fadimu, Rukayat Akanbi and Shorunke Tunde
The COVID-19 pandemic has recorded its first victim in the Presidency. The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari has tested positive to the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari narrowly escaped. The President tested negative to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The test on these individuals was carried out yesteday by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in Abuja.
Abba Kyari will now be the third public figure to be isolated for treatment after the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed went into isolation after testing positive. The governor had contact with son of the former Vice President, Mohammed Atiku Abubakar.
Governors Bala tests positive
Governor Bala Mohammed who also recently returned from official trip in Lagos met with Mohammed Atiku Abubakar in the Aero Contractors aircraft where they shook hands and exchanged pleasantries’
It is suspected that Kyari could have been infected with the virus when he visited Germany on Saturday, March 7, to meet with officials of Siemens in Munich, Germany on the Nigerian electricity expansion program
Upon his arrival, he went to Lokoja to meet with Governor Yahaya Bello to commiserate with the governor over the death of his mother.
Aisha bars access to Buhari
Investigation by our Correspondents has revealed that the First Lady declared stay-at-home policy for the President.
“The First Lady is not allowing anybody to see the President. She has even refused to allow him go to his office,” a source at Presidential Villa told our Correspondent
In the meantime, following reports of Coronavirus invasion of the presidency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has on Tuesday gone into self-isolation.
Osinbajo’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, stated this on Tuesday via his official Twitter account, @Akandeoj.
In his tweet, Akande said his principal is self-isolating in accordance with the “protocols” of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
VP Osinbajo yesterday at the office conducted his meetings via video conferencing, while observing social distancing. Today, he continues his work from the home office, as he is in self-isolation in accordance with NCDC protocols.
In related development, three officials of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, have reportedly tested positive to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). A presidential source confirmed the development.
Efforts to reach Presidential spokesmen to confirm most of the developments within the State House on Tuesday were unsuccessful as neither the Special Adviser and the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina and Mallam Garba Shehu, respectively, was seen within the premises. However, when reached earlier in the day, Mallam Shehu did not pick the call put across to him but responded to a cellphone text message sent to him, saying “sorry, I can’t talk right now”.
Kyari aides test positive
Meanwhile, a Presidential source, who sought anonymity, confirmed that all persons suspected to have been exposed to the Chief of Staff to the President have been advised on self self-isolation. He added that the advice might be responsible for why many people who were expected to be at work were unavailable, adding that the advise to self-isolate has commenced in earnest.
It was also gathered that the Presidential Task Force on coronavirus led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, was on an inspection visit to the Villa on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday evening, there are 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria including Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed.
as confirmed cases hit 44 …
Lagos, Ondo, Osun, others close markets
Due to the recent increase in Coronavirus Index across the country, Lagos, Ondo and Osun state governors on Tuesday declared markets lockdown in their respective states in order curtail the widespread of the deadly
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) announced another two new confirmed cases of Coronavirus, taking the total number of cases in the country to 44 on Tuesday.
According to the NCDC, one of the cases was confirmed in the FCT with a Germany travel history, while the other is the governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed.
Lagos, Ondo, Osun shut markets
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu ordered the closure of all markets on Tuesday during a press briefing, and it is to take effect from Thursday, March 26.
“All markets and stalls except those selling food items, water, medicines, pharmacies, medical equipment and other related essential life-saving products are hereby directed to close effective from Thursday, March 26th, 2020 for seven days at the first instance,” he said.
In the same vein, “All fast foods, eateries, restaurants are enjoined to serve takeaway for all their customers with no in-dinning service permitted whatsoever.
“Shops in malls that are not selling any of these initially mentioned essential daily needs are all meant to close down from Thursday”.
According to the governor, the compliance of this directive will be fully enforced by all security operatives.
To curtail the spread of Coronavirus, the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has directed the immediate closure of all markets, malls and shops across the State with effect from today, March 24th, 2020 to curb spread of COVID- 19.
Under this fresh directive which is for a period of 7 days in the first instance, only the sale of life-saving and sustaining items like food, water and medicines shall be allowed.
“In this regard, any form of open campaign for the forthcoming Local Government Election in the State should be discontinued for the meantime”.
In furtherance of his resolve to deepen efforts under the present circumstances, Governor Akeredolu has equally directed the immediate cancellation of all official engagements.
This directive includes courtesy calls and other engagements already approved and scheduled prior to this time; and shall suffice for a period of 14 days in the first instance.
The Governor seeks the co-operation and understanding of all residents in the State as he works assiduously to keep the State safe from COVID-19.
In recent development, the Osun State Government has also suspended weekly markets indefinitely to curb the spread of coronavirus in the State.
The Chief Press Secretary to Osun State governor, Mr. Ismail Omipidan in a statement on Tuesday, said the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu announced to market women on Tuesday that weekly markets activities have been shut down indefinitely.
However, he noted that the government will allow daily market because it only attracts low patronage, unlike the weekly market.
Dr. Isamotu stated that the lockdown was necessary due to the fact that Osun has boundaries with some States that have cases of the COVID-19 adding that people from neighbouring States patronise the weekly markets, which he said, makes Osun open to disease.
The Commissioner, therefore, urged the market women to support government’s effort in containing the spread of the disease by putting up hand-washing points and providing sanitizers for everyone who patronises them.
He also warned people against loitering at markets, urging them to leave immediately after performing their transactions.
Tinubu backs total lockdown
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) said he would support the total lockdown of Lagos to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Lagos, at the moment has 29 cases of coronavirus out of the national total of 44.
Speaking at the Government House in Marina after meeting Sanwo-Olu, Tinubu urged residents and Nigerians in general to obey government’s directives and measures.
Tinubu, a former governor the state, said that he supported any decision taken by the government, including a total lockdown, if necessary, to halt the spread of the virus.
He called the virus a ‘mysterious disease”.
Health minister cancels press briefing
Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, was expected to clarify the controversy surrounding the reports at a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon. The minister, however, did not show up for the briefing.