Nigeria confirmed its first case of the coronavirus disease on Friday, 28th February and the country is racing against time to control the spread of the novel coronavirus as there are now 46 case profiles on record according to the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The coronavirus outbreak which has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) now has a global death toll of 19,246 with 427,940 declared cases registered in 181 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December.
WHO had warned that Africa’s “fragile health systems” meant the threat posed by the virus was “considerable”. Also, Nigerians have taken to social media to question government’s capacity to handle the deadly disease. The questions revolve around the country’s testing capacity and the state of health facilities.
Although, the federal and state governments continue to put in place measures to curtail the spread of the pandemic and limit its impact, a number of notable Nigerians have tested positive for the virus. They include:
Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari was on Monday, March 23rd reported to have tested positive. He had on Saturday, March 7 visited Germany where he and the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, on March 9, met with officials of Siemens in Munich on the Nigerian electricity expansion programme.
On his return, he attended Fidau prayers held for the deceased mother of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello and was with other notable people like Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu; Minister of Special Duties, George Akume and Minister of State for FCT, Ramatu Tijani.
There are now concerns that he may have infected top government officials.
The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed was on Tuesday, March 24th announced to have tested positive for the pandemic on Tuesday
The Governor had on Monday gone into self-isolation following his contact with the son of Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who tested positive for the virus on Sunday.
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Mukhtar Gidado, made the announcement.
The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu on Wednesday, March 25, confirmed that the Speaker of the Edo state House of Assembly, Frank Okiye, had tested positive for Coronavirus
He made the confirmation while briefing journalists in Benin, the State Capital.
An official of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Salihu Umar announced that he tested positive for the novel COVID-19 via a tweet on Monday, March 23rd.
Two days before, FIRS authorities denied reports of one of their staff testing positive for the virus.
Atiku Abubakar’s Son
Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar disclosed that his son tested positive for the raging Coronavirus disease on Sunday, March 22nd. Atiku who posted this on his verified Twitter account asked for the prayers of Nigerians
This is even as other notable Nigerians like Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo; Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Director General of Nigerian Governors Forum, Asishana Okauru amongst others have gone into self isolation.
A report by Nigeria’s Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) shows the country had tested only 152 people as of Sunday, March 22.