Onyedi Ojiabor and Moses Emoriken, Abuja
THE Federal Government declined on Thursday to speak on the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff (CoS), Abba Kyari.
Two ministers – Osagie Ehanire (Health) and Lai Mohammed (Information and Culture) – declined when asked by reporters.
They said the health status is personal to every individual.
At separate news conferences in Abuja yesterday, they gave the list of ministers and top Presidency officials, including Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), who tested negative to the virus.
Some ministers and governors also announced yesterday that they tested negative to the virus. Ehanire said: “One aide of the President was tested and is in a secure government facility where he is being monitored and checked. I can tell you that the facility is inside Nigeria.
Declining to make available the identity of the presidential aide in question, the Health minister said: “I am not free to disclose to you anybody who tested and what their result was because these are personal issues. But, those persons are free to disclose.”
Mohammed said he had no mandate to make any disclosure on the health status of the Kyari, saying the government cannot make any disclosure because the health status is personal to every individual.
He added: “It is a pity that in this part of the world, we have no respect for the right of individual. I have no right to announce the status of anyone. When I went through the test yesterday, only my result was made available to me. I was not privy to others’ results.
“The issue is that we don’t have the right to say X has tested positive or A has tested negative.”
“In the treatment of COVID-19, we have four categories. The first category is that some people will have no symptoms at all; second will have mild symptoms; third will have moderate symptoms; and the fourth category will have severe symptoms, and may require oxygen and may even require a ventilator.
“Those ones with severe symptoms will go to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada. The other categories will be in facilities where they can be taken care of. The aide who tested positive is receiving treatment at a secure facility, and does not need category four treatment (severely symptomatic), but requires only general medical treatment.
“If anybody gets to the category four level, then, we will move him or her to a higher facility for treatment but that situation has not arisen.”
He added: “It is because we are grading those that have been affected by the coronavirus this way, that is why you have not seen that Gwagwalada is overcrowded – the grading determines those who are going into secure facility or less sophisticated areas. We have capacity to handle cases right now.
He explained that the contact tracing of those who might have had contact with the said aide was efficiently done by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
He told reporters that he did not memorise the numbers of those involved and therefore, cannot give any figures.