Panic on Tuesday gripped some governors and ministers as the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, tested positive for COVID-19.
The panic among the governors and the ministers stemmed from the fact that Kyari after his return from foreign trips a few days ago attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, while Mohammed was at the National Executive Council meeting on Thursday.
Kyari, after Nigeria recorded the first coronavirus case on February 27 visited Germany and Egypt. In Germany, he and the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, on March 9, met Siemens officials over the power deal signed with the company.
The source stated, “Panic has gripped governors. Kyari went into isolation on Monday, but before that, he had attended the FEC meeting and also travelled to Kogi State to sympathise with the state Governor, Yahaya Bello over the death of his mother.
“Also Bauchi governors attended the NEC meeting on Thursday. There are fears that both of them could have infected their colleagues with the disease.”
As panic gripped governors and ministers, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Tuesday COVID-19 cases had increased to 44 from 40 on Monday.
The NCDC, on its Twitter handle, said eight confirmed cases had been recorded in Abuja, one in Bauchi State, one in Edo State, one in Ekiti State, 29 in Lagos State and three in Ogun State.
A source at the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed that Kyari, who recently returned from Germany, was among those who tested positive on Tuesday.
He, however, said the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had tested negative but the President would be tested again in a few days.
The diagnosis of Kyari with COVID-19 created fears at the Presidential Villa and among governors, who attended the National Executive Council meeting with him on Thursday last week.
It was learnt that some top officials at the Presidential Villa had gone on self-isolation to play safe over coronavirus.
Also on self-isolation are senior directors and close aides to the Chief of Staff to the President.
The Chief of Staff had attended last Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting and had contact with many top officials of government, including the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.); Osinbajo; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha; and the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan.