Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff has tested positive for the coronavirus, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday, reported Reuters.
Abba Kyari, who is in his 70s, went to Germany in early March along with a delegation of other Nigerian officials for meetings with Siemens group on the Nigeria electricity expansion programme.
It is presumed that he probably contracted the disease from Germany, which has 29,056 confirmed cases of Coronavirus and 123 recorded deaths. He returned back on March 14, three days before he attended the Fidau prayer.
Upon return, Kyari failed to self-isolate himself, as directed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for returnees from high-risk countries. He even attended the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) meeting which took place on March 17. The meeting was attended by President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Since returning from Germany, Kyari also had contacts with several prominent persons including Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Babagana Kingibe, and Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello. Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, Aliko Dangote, and Governor Bello Masari of Katsina are among others that Kyari came in contact with after returning to Nigeria.
As per reports, the chief of staff submitted himself voluntarily for testing and was informed of his status on Monday. He has since then gone into isolation and treatment. The Nigerian health authorities have advised anyone who has been exposed to Kyari to self-isolate.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) also tested President Buhari for coronavirus but he tested negative to COVID-19.
Nigeria which had only one case of COVID-19 when the pandemic hit the country on February 28 now has 40 confirmed cases. The deadly disease has spread to 192 countries with more than 329,000 cases. In Africa, 42 out of the 54 countries are affected.