It is no longer news that Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has tested positive to the coronavirus disease.
This information got into the public domain on Tuesday, 24th March, 2020.
Amidst best wishes and prayers for him to quickly recover and emerge healthy from the infection, there are fresh worries about the number of persons who might have come in contact with Mallam Kyari and might have been exposed to the infection and likely to test positive.
Top on the list is the President himself, Muhammadu Buhari. Luckily, it is understood that the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) has given the President a clean bill of health. He tested negative.
However, apart from the President, many other people are believed to have had contact with Kyari after his return from overseas from where he is believed to have contacted the virus.
He returned to the country on Saturday, March 14 after meeting with officials of Siemens in Germany over the Nigerian electricity expansion programme.
He then reportedly had a meeting targeted at curbing the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria all through Sunday.
Another source of worry are the members of staff (both domestic and official staff members). With his position and closeness to the President, his office will usually be a bee-hive of activities flocking with many people, files and proposals needing the President’s attention.
Since his return to Nigeria, Mallam Kyari has also attended the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting which means all those present at the meeting might have potentially being exposed to the virus and may need to be isolated.
Kyari was also accompanied on the trip to Germany by the Minister for power, Engineer Mamman Sale, prompting calls for him to also go into isolation.
President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, also led the federal government delegation which was in Kogi State on March 17 to deliver Buhari’s condolence message to Governor Yahaya Bello following the demise of his mother.
Others on the delegation included Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who now heads the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s official spokesperson, Senator George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information.
As Mallam Kyari has been confirmed positive for COVID-19, Nigerians are calling on all those who might have been in contact with him since his return from the Germany trip to own up, get themselves tested for the virus and also possibly isolate to prevent further spread of the virus.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
According to the NCDC, as at 07:00 am 25th March, there are 46 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria. 2 have been discharged with 1 death recorded.
Two new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 1 in Lagos and 1 in Osun
Both cases are returning travellers to Nigeria in the last 7 days
— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 25, 2020