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Testing positive for Coronavirus does not mean death sentence, says presidency

God that has shown us mercy thus far will continue to show that mercy. Anybody that test positive is not a death sentence, they will be attended to, they will be tested and they will be fine,” he said.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

/ by Joe Adams
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina 
The Presidency has cautioned the people against panic at the face of the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, saying testing positive is not a death sentence.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, in an interaction with newsmen at the Presidential Villa yesterday, gave the assurance that all those who tested positive to the deadly Coronavirus would receive adequate medical attention.


Adesina, who cited the recovery of the Italian who was the index case to buttress his point, emphasised that anybody that tested positive should not panic as the virus was curable.

“We also will pray along with the persons, give them our goodwill and best wishes and they will surely come out of it. Even the index case in Nigeria recovered and has been discharged.

“God that has shown us mercy thus far will continue to show that mercy. Anybody that test positive is not a death sentence, they will be attended to, they will be tested and they will be fine,” he said.




On other measures adopted by the presidency to curtail the spread of COVID-19, he said: “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 sanitise 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 will 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.

“I believe that a lot has been done to ensure that those who operate in the presidency are taken care of.”



The presidential spokesman said that the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was suspended to avoid gathering beyond the recommended number by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

Adesina also confirmed that the seat of power has been placed on partial lockdown.

On the suspension of FEC, he said: “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 FEC can always be discussed at a smaller meeting.”

On the present situation of things in the Villa, Adesina said: “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 the President indeed tested for the COVID-19 virus, Adesina asked: “What did you hear about the result?”


The reporter responded thus: “They say it’s negative.”

He then replied: “Good. So that calls for rejoicing with him. Anybody that does the test and tests negative, we will rejoice with that person. And anybody that does it and tests positive, it’s not a death sentence.”

Adesina also faulted reports that some media organisations had been banned from covering 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 be infected with 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, representatives of the media, they will come in, and 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,” he said.

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