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Coronavirus Result: President Buhari’s Negative Test Calls For Rejoicing ― Presidency

Valentine Chinyem

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The presidency said on Wednesday that the fact the President Muhammadu Buhari’s test for COVID-19 returned negative calls for rejoicing by Nigerians.

Special Adviser to the president on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, who stated this in a chat with journalists in Abuja was not, however, categorical on whether the president was tested for the virus.

Even though there had been speculation on the status of the president following the positive test for the virus of the Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, the presidency was yet to officially confirm.

When asked whether indeed the president was tested for COVID-19, Adesina responded: “What did you hear about the result?”

When told, “negative,” he added: “Good. So, that calls for rejoicing with him. Anybody that does the test and tests negative, we will rejoice with that person. And anybody that does it and tests positive, it’s not a death sentence.

“We also would pray along with the person, give the person our goodwill and best wishes and they will surely come out of it.

“Even the index case in Nigeria recovered and has been discharged. So, God that has shown us mercy thus far and will continue to show that mercy.

“Anybody that tests positive is not a death sentence. They will be attended to, they will be tested and they will be fine.”

Adesina noted that things were on the low key at the presidential villa, which he said had not necessarily shut down its activities.

He added: “Well, things are a bit on a low key, it doesn’t mean that the State House is shut down. It’s just that things are a bit on the low key just like the rest of the country.

“The rest of the country is also on a low key. There is a partial lockdown in most parts of the country. So, what is happening at the State House can also be called a partial lockdown but not a complete lockdown.”

The presidential spokesman explained that the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was suspended because of the size of participants, which would have gone beyond the number recommended for meetings under the threat of COVID-19.

He said: “The council was suspended because of the size. You have over 50 people seated in the Council Chambers whenever the meeting holds and that is not advisable at a time like this.

“But if there would be a very important decision to be taken, you can always summon the relevant people, three, four or five and hold a small meeting and arrive at a decision.

“It does not mean that one man is going to be taking all the decisions. Of course, yes, there are executive decisions but the ones that must pass through consultations of which must have a buy-in of the federal executive council can always be discussed at a smaller meeting.”