Presidency has given encouragement to Nigerians being tested positive for coronavirus that it is not a death sentence, and that there is no need for the citizens to panic.
Answering reporters’ questions today, March 25 at the presidential Villa, Abuja, special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Femi Adesina expressed confidence that those who tested positive would recover and go back to their work.
He said that anybody that does the coronavirus test and the test is negative, “we will rejoice with that person. And anybody that does it and test positive, it’s not a death sentence.
“We also would pray along with the person, give the person our good will 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 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.”
On the suspension of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting:
“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.”
On the present situation of things in the Villa:
“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 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.”
Asked if President Muhammadu Buhari indeed was tested for coronavirus, Adesina confirmed by saying the result, which was negative calls for rejoicing with him.
“Anybody that does the test and test is 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 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.”
On the reported media ban from the State House:
“Ban is a wrong word. Anybody that uses that word ban is just operating from a mindset and you know that Nigerians love conspiracy theories but this one is no conspiracy at all. There is no ban.
“What happened is that in the press gallery, you have about 108 journalists in that single hall and it goes contrary to the spirit of the times.
“The time dictates that you don’t have too many people congregated in one place. Imagine 108 journalists: if one of them happens to catch the virus, he spreads it among all the journalists. So we said for now, let them stay away, not much is happening for now. But we picked a certain number, representative of the media, they will come in, if there is anything they will cover and those outside will also not miss because there would be a system in which they can share reports. So ban will be a wrong word. It will be operating from a mindset of conspiracy and there is no conspiracy here at all.”
On other measures adopted by the presidency to curtail the spread of coronavirus:
“Of course, you know when you come into the State House you have about three, four, five spots in which your temperature is tested and you have to sanitize your hand. And if you come in and your temperature is way above a certain figure, then you will be advised to go for test and take care of yourself. So I think so far so good.
“Before you go into the general area you will meet about three areas of test and before you get into the President’s area you will meet like another two. So I believe that a lot has been done to ensure that those who operate in the presidency are taken care of.”
On Nigerians in panic:
“Panic will not be the right thing to do because when you panic you are bound to make mistakes. When you panic you get agitated and the situation does not call for that, rather it calls for cooperation with government. When they give instructions lets abide with those instructions. And a number of things have been put in place to ensure that the well being of Nigerians is taken care of.”