In a bid to check the spread of COVID-19, the Presidential Villa has gone on ‘partial lockdown’, the president’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said on Wednesday.
“Things are a bit on a low key. It doesn’t mean that the State House is shut down. What is happening at the State House can also be called a partial lockdown but not a complete lockdown,” Mr Adesina said while addressing State House reporters in Abuja.
Mr Adesina further explained that “to ensure that those who operate in the presidency are taken care of,” about three to five spots have been set aside for testing of temperature and sanitizing of hands.
He added that before visitors get to the general areas in the State House, there are “about three areas of test and before you get into the president’s area you will meet like another two.”
Asked if President Muhammadu Buhari was truly tested for the COVID-19 disease, due to his suspected contact with his chief of staff who tested positive, Mr Adesina said the outcome of the result calls for rejoicing.
Mr Adesina also said that the Federal Executive Council meetings have been suspended “because of the size, and that is not advisable at a time like this.”
The meetings held every Wednesday and are presided by the president, or by the vice president in the president’s absence. The meeting did not hold today.
The spokesperson explained that important decisions, which ought to be taken by the FEC, would still be taken by a smaller team of persons.
“If there would be a very important decision to be taken,” the relevant people of about three to five would be summoned “to hold a small meeting and arrive at a decision,” Mr Adesina said.
He urged Nigerians not to panic, adding that they should abide by the instructions of authorities.
He noted that testing positive “is not a death sentence” as even the index case in Nigeria recovered and has been discharged.
Globally, while over 100,000 people have recovered from the pandemic, only about 20,500 have died from it.
The presidential spokesperson also said journalists were not banned from the State House.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the villa management reduced the journalists covering the State House by over 60 per cent.
Mr Adesina said their numbers were only reduced to check the spread of COVID-19.