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COVID-19: Presidential task force storms aso rock

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Members of the Presidential Task Force for the control of the coronavirus chaired by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha on Tuesday stormed the Presidential Villa, Abuja, wearing face masks.

The 12-member task force team set up by President Muhammadu Buhari recently were seen departing the building which accommodates the office of the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

While Shehu declined comments when approached by newsmen, the SGF simply said: “you’d be briefed later.”

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This came as palpable fear had enveloped staffers in the villa, following reports that the Chief of Staff to the president has tested positive for COVID-19.

With the federal government’s directive for civil servants from grade level 1 – 12 to stay and work from home, there were fewer than normal personnel who reported for work on Tuesday.

Some of them could be seen in small groups discussing the prevailing pandemic, particularly, the news of Kyari’s test, which was yet to be officially acknowledged at press time.

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Others were heard openly expressing fears about the consequences of a positive test for Kyari given the nature of his interaction with politicians, other senior government officials and staff.

Since returning from Germany, Kyari who was said to have been asymptomatic had been attending meetings including last week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the inauguration of the Presidential Task Force for the Control of Coronavirus, both of which were presided over by Buhari.

The CoS was said to have tested positive on Monday, a development which reportedly necessitated a test by Buhari whose result was said to have returned negative.

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He returned from Germany last week, specifically on the 7th March after meeting with officials of Siemens on the Nigerian electricity expansion programme.

He is reportedly in self-isolation monitored by NCDC.

His case is also reportedly not fatal yet and his staff have been asked to self-isolate.

It was learnt, however, that there is no immediate plan to conduct any test on any of them until they show symptoms of the dreaded COVID-19.

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Kyari, who was sighted after Jum’aat prayers last Friday, was not seen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday. His official vehicle was also not sighted at it’s officially allocated position at the car park in the admin wing of the State House on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, despite the trending reports that Buhari has tested negative to the virus, following a test allegedly conducted by officials of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the Presidency has continued to keep sealed lips over the matter at press time.

President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina could not confirm or refute the accuracy of the reports.

Calls put to his personal line could not connect since the reports began to trend online early Tuesday.

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