The President of the Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has gone into a mandatory self-isolation to observe the COVID-19 protocol required of anybody who comes in contact with an infected person.
This began immediately after the President and officials who accompanied him on his 18-day trip to the United Kingdom were tested for COVID-19 on his return.
This follows his contact with officials of Nigeria’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, some of who have tested positive for COVID-19. This led to the closure of the High Commission facilities for 10 days beginning on Thursday.
Confirming President Buhari’s self-isolation, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said it is in observance of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)’s guideline.
According to him, excluding the President, all those who accompanied him on the trip did the mandatory PCR test on Friday and will follow it with the second test days later.
He said: “Mr President and all of those on his delegation will be isolated in line with NCDC guidelines for international travel.” Among those who accompanied the President were Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba; National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno; and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
Upon his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja on Friday, the President was received by top government officials including Service Chiefs and senior aides led by Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
It was not made clear how many government officials he had got in contact with since his arrival.
Among the programs on his schedule for this week is the marriage of his daughter on Friday.
The President may only participate in events virtually, due to his self-isolation which is expected to be for 10 days.
The infected diplomat and his colleagues were immediately sent on isolation.
A further test on all officials at the Commission led to discovery of another positive official.
The discovery led to the immediate closure of the High Commission by the Nigerian High Commission.
The closure of the facility of Nigeria’s High Commission was convened in a memo dated August 12, titled: “Closure of Nigeria High Commission, London,” by the High Commission.
The letter reads: “This (Thursday) afternoon, the Head of Immigration Section and two other officials went for a meeting at the Home Office.”
“At the entrance, COVID test was administered on them and one of them tested positive to COVID-19. The affected officer immediately isolated while the other officials, who tested negative, will also isolate for the next 10 days.
“In response to this challenge, the Mission embarked on testing all officials of the mission, after which another official of the Mission tested positive.
“In line with COVID-19 regulation and the need to adhere to the rules and regulations of the host country, the Mission will close down for the next 10 days, in order to observe the mandatory isolation of those who were in contact with the affected officials.
“While the High Commission regrets any inconvenience that this may have caused, we solicit the cooperation of the general public.”