Osinbajo tests negative as Nigeria’s Coronavirus cases increase to 51


Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who went into self-isolation on Tuesday has tested negative for COVID-19. Announcing the result of the test conducted on the vice-president, via a tweet on his Twitter handle, @babaloveme3, his political adviser, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, said Wednesday the outcome of the test was negative.

“Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo tests negative,” Ojudu had tweeted. The vice-president was said to have been forced into self-isolation on Tuesday because he was one of the personalities who had contact with the Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday.”

Disclosing Osinbajo’s self-isolation on his Twitter handle, @akandeoj, his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the vice-president had been working from home having gone into self-isolation. According to the tweet, Osinbajo’s decision to self-isolate was in compliance with the directive of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC). Akande further disclosed that the vice-president held meetings on Monday through video conferencing in observance of social distancing.

“VP Osinbajo yesterday (Monday) 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,” Akande tweeted. The NCDC confirmed that cases of coronavirus in the country has increased to 51. “Five new cases of #COVID19 have been confirmed in Nigeria: 2 in FCT, 2 in Lagos & 1 in Rivers,” NCDC tweeted Wednesday night. “3 are returning travellers into Nigeria & 2 are close contacts of a confirmed case.”

The news came as the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi, implored his fellow Governors and all those who attended the Wednesday, March 18 NGF meetings to go for testing. Fayemi, who is currently on self-isolation and awaiting his COVID -19 test results, gave the advice in a statement issued by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, Head, Media and Public Affairs of NGF Secretariat, in Abuja on Wednesday

Fayemi implored his fellow Governors and all those who attended the Wednesday March 18 meetings and other subsequent meetings to tread on the path of caution and do everything necessary to test for the virus and self-isolate. These, according to him, include the personal aides of those governors, so as to ensure that the spread of the disease remains at its lowest in the country.

“In the same vein, he calls upon all Nigerians who attended functions, at which at least one person was positively identified with COVID – 19, to immediately self-isolate and come forward to the NCDC for identification and to do tests. Hiding from the public and self-treatment, places the entire public at risk. We should all do our part to stop the spread of this highly infectious disease. COVID -19 virus infection is treatable. The earlier it is identified the better. The Chairman wishes all persons with COVID-19 in Nigeria and worldwide, full recovery. For all those who lost their lives, may their souls Rest In Peace.”

Fayemi said that test became imperative after having attended a series of meetings with a few individuals who have tested positive with COVID -19. He chaired the Forum’s meeting held on March 18 and also addressed an audience that attended an exclusive breakfast meeting between governors and the World Bank the following day, Thursday March 19.

In both instances, there were persons in attendance, who eventually turned out to be positive carriers of the Coronavirus. Subsequently, the NGF Chairman attended the National Economic Council meeting and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors meeting, all of which involved same or other persons positively identified with the COVID-19 virus.

In a tweet on Wednesday morning the Chairman said, “I just took a Covid 19 test, having gone into self-isolation since yesterday evening. I’m asymptomatic and feel well, but I was in meetings with two people who had since tested positive. I look forward to an all clear and have encouraged all my colleagues to take the test.”

The NGF Chairman has been in the forefront of the advocacy for strict adherence to the protocols that help mitigate the spread of the novel virus. He has advised all staff of the NGF and their families, particularly those whose duties included secretarial services at the meetings, to self-isolate. Fayemi said this should be done in accordance with the existing procedure and regulations already outlined to ensure public safety and to try whenever or wherever possible to get tested. The governor urged all Nigerians to heed the stay at home order by the government unless on essential duty.

Meanwhile, sequel to the reported one positive case of Coronavirus in Osun State, Governor Gboyega Oyetola has said that he and his wife surrendered themselves to test due to their recent travel history and the outcome proved negative to virus.  The NCDC had earlier confirmed case of novel Coronavirus in the state. The case is a returnee from the United Kingdom (UK) and is currently receiving treatment.

Oyetola, while addressing journalists yesterday in the Governor’s Office, said that their decision to subject themselves to test was to lead by example. He said: “Considering the fact that I was in Abuja for the better part of last week, as a way of leading by example, I have also subjected myself to test. My wife, because of her recent travel history, also subjected herself to test. Both came back negative.”

The governor, who stated said that a task force had been set up to man all the state land borders and conduct preliminary screening, said that “all major markets would soon be shut down with effect from Friday, March 27, 2020 as part of actions aimed at stemming the spread of the deadly virus. He, however, stated that traders are allowed to sell food items in front of their houses while pharmaceutical outlets are exempted from the ban.

Oyetola, who urged the residents and citizens of the state not to panic as the disease is under control, urged them to call the emergency number 293 or other numbers: 08035025692, 08033908772 and 08056456250 to report suspected case or cases. In another development, contrary to reports that Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has placed himself in isolation over pandemic Coronavirus, he has proved the conjectures wrong. Though Akeredolu did not utter a word on the rumour and question put to him yesterday by journalists at a briefing in the Governor’s Office, alongside the Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, he demonstrated that the report was untrue.

The governor, who was also cocooned by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Sunday Abegunde; his Chief of Staff, Olugbenga Ale; Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye and Head of Service, Mr. Dare Aragbaye, proved that he was not in isolation. The police boss, who noted that the meeting was important so as to discuss how to effectively enforce state government measures to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the state, expressed dismay at the attitude of people on the measures put in place by the government, warning that the command would deploy personnel to enforce measures put in place.
“We have observed that people that are selling non-essential commodities opened their shops. The government has ordered that markets and shops should be closed except those selling essential commodities like water, food and medicine.

Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) has charged the over 4,000 churches under its banner in the state to embark on three days sit-at-home prayer and fasting between today, March 26 and Saturday, March 28, 2020. The state’s PFN Director of Media, Bishop Seun Adeoye, said that the group Chairman, Prophet Isaiah Adelowokan, had directed members in the state to comply.He also directed all PFN pastors in the state to ensure total compliance with the state government’s directive by not opening their churches for services until further directives are issued.

Also, Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger State has gone into self-isolation along with members of his family as a precautionary measure against the spread of Coronavirus in the state. Dr Maku Sidi, the state Commissioner for Health, confirmed this in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Wednesday. Sidi also said the entire members of the state executive council are going into self-isolation as part of the proactive measures adopted by the state government to curb the spread. “There is no cause for alarm; we are doing everything humanly possible to deal with the situation at hand as a normal precautionary measure.

“Gov. Bello was in Abuja for APC Governor’s Forum and other official engagements and have in contact with those suspected to be having the case of COVID-19, hence the need to submit self, aides and members of their households for test. We in Niger are not taking things for granted in view of the circumstance we find ourselves today, every citizen must engage in personal hygiene and take actions that can help us overcome this health challenge once and for all,” he said.

Sidi, therefore, urged residents not to panic over the development but to adhere strictly to health advised. He urged citizens to abide by his directives on social distancing and obey fully the restriction of gathering and handwashing to prevent the spread of the disease.