- 4 new cases confirmed
- Buhari’s daughter in self isolation
- FG orders schools closed
- As President urges precaution, not fear
By Egena Sunday Ode, Abuja
The Lagos State Commissioner of Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, has said that the Italian who brought coronavirus to Nigeria now tests negative.
He said this at a press conference on Thursday.
According to him, the Italian will be tested one more time and will be released if he tests negative again.
He also confirmed four new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.
According to the commissioner, 19 tests were performed on suspected cases and contacts of the five cases announced on Wednesday, out of which four turned positive.
Coronavirus was first recorded in Nigeria on February 27 when the Italian businessman, who was on a visit to Lafarge Africa Plc, Ewekoro, Ogun State, was diagnosed with the disease and taken to Lagos State.
The second coronavirus case was a Nigerian, who had contact with the Italian and was isolated in Ogun State. Although he tested positive twice, subsequent tests were negative.
This is just as the daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari whose name was not disclosed has gone into self isolation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on her return from the United Kingdom on Thursday.
Mrs. Aisha Buhari, her mother and First Lady, who disclosed this in a series of tweets on her verified personal handle @aishambuhari, said the daughter had to self-isolate because the United Kingdom is one of the high burden listed countries of COVID-19.
She said the daughter had not displayed any symptoms of the coronavirus.
The First Lady also announced that she has closed her office for two weeks because of the virus.
She tweeted: “Good afternoon Nigerians, Earlier today my daughter returned from the UK being among the high burden listed countries of COVID-19.
“Based on the advice of the Hon. Minister Of Health , Presidential Task force on COVID – 19 and that of NCDC, she is on self isolation, not because she displayed any symptoms of the Covid-19 .
“Please I urge all parents to do the same if possible as prevention is better than cure
“Similarly, I have shut down my office for two weeks with immediate effect while essential staff can work from home as a result of some Staff who recently returned from the UK
“I commend the North Western Governors including Niger and Kwara on preventive measures taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 at their security meeting yesterday in Kaduna.
“Let’s keep following the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, which encourages maintaining social distancing, high hygiene culture through regular washing of hands with soaps and sanitizers.
“Let’s adopt preventive measures and ensure the safety of our families and that of General public.
“We will overcome the Covid-19 pandemic if we all take the necessary precautions at the same time ! “God bless you all.
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Also yesterday, the federal government has ordered the closure of all the 104 Unity Schools in the country from March 26 as a proactive step aimed at preventing the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus. (COVID-19).
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, who gave the order, said all the principals of the Unity Colleges should fast track the on-going second term examinations and close shop until further notice.
This closure was announced in a statement by Ben Goong, Director, Press and Public Relations in Abuja, on Thursday.
The Minister said the management of all the Unity Colleges should immediately activate the necessary emergency procedures and processes such as the provision of alcohol based sanitizers and hand washing facilities among others.
He said that students should strictly adhere to the principles and best practices of good hygiene.
He also directed the principals to immediately report any suspicious case to the nearest health authorities, emphasising that nothing should be taken for granted at this delicate time of the global pandemic.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on Thursday urged Nigerians to take precaution and not fear.
This was contained in a statement by Presidency spokesman, Garba Shehu Thursday.
The statement said, “To prevent the spread of cases imported into Nigeria, the President has already ordered the restrictions of travel from 13 countries, each with more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Government has also suspended visas issued to nationals of these countries. The restriction will take effect from March 20 and will remain until further notice. While Nigeria delights in welcoming the world, the safety and protection of our citizens and land must take priority.
“The various agencies of government including Media owned by the government have embarked on vigorous campaigns promoting hygiene measures. There are, currently, very stringent regimes of checks at the points of air and sea entry into the country. The effort Nigeria is making as is well known, has already received the commendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO).”
The Presidency assured Nigerians that government is on top of the situation. “There is no cause for panic. So far measures put in place are working efficiently. What this country is doing has been recommended as a template.
“The President trusts the relevant Ministers in his cabinet and the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who are providing him with constant updates and professional counsel. “These officials have a track record of competence.”
“We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised or seen as an opportunity to regurgitate grudges against the government or the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). North, South, East, and West – all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation.
“In this regard, populist advocacies such as the one accusing the President of “complacency” simply because he has not made a television address by ranking members of our respected parliament are cheap and sensational. These are not the times for populism and cheap politics.
“President Buhari thanks all those at the forefront of the fight against the deadly disease.”