Weeks After, El-Rufai, Abba Kyari, Atiku’s Son Remain Coronavirus Positive

By Eric Elezuo

While the likes of Oyo and Bauchi states’ governors, Seyi Makinde and Bala Mohammed, among others, have since tested negative to the Coronavirus disease days after being infected, the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai; the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and Mohammed Atiku Abubakar, son of former Vice President, are yet to be cured.

The present state of the three high profile officers continue to raise concern of what the outcome of their cases might be.

Atiku’s son, Mohammed, who is 31, tested positive for the virus on March 19 after neighbours reportedly informed the authorities of his condition. This was however, denied by the former Vice President in a press release. He was subsequently moved to the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, the treatment centre for most COVID-19 cases.

Atiku Abubakar’s case has remained unchanged many weeks after despite being placed on medication, including antiretroviral and immune-boosting vitamins, Premium Times reported, saying that his case is a “unique condition”, and has puzzled experts at the NCDC.

Quoting an official, the paper reported: “He tested positive again yesterday. We are doing all that is in our power to ensure his recovery, but he can only be released after he has been deemed completely recovered.

“We have been saying that this is a unique condition, but we are confident he will recover soon,” the official added.

Atiku-Abubakar, like El-Rufai, who announced a few days ago that he was still positive, have remained asymptomatic, days after catching the virus. El-Rufai celebrated his 60th birthday just before the scourge gained ground in Nigeria.

In a Premium Times report, a professor, who doubles as a Microbiologist and Molecular Geneticist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Ms Ifeoma Ezeonu feared that the case of the trio, especially Mohammed, is abnormal considering observatory trends, adding that the case was looking like a prolonged carrier and should be closely monitored by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

She said: “Ordinarily, he should have been cleared by now because of his young age and the period he has spent under treatment in isolation. We know that the virus can be transient or chronic, and this case is looking like a classic case of a carrier.

“We just hope it is not an extended carriage as it is a very dangerous situation because it now looks like his system has come into an agreement with the virus,” she said.

“If someone is asymptomatic as he has been, then you expect the immune system to clear the virus on time so the person can be negative again. They should keep treating him there until he is able to clear the virus.”

Like Atiku Abubakar, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, whose case was first made public on March 23, after series of speculations, has remained a case as his recovery has not been announced yet.

Kyari, on discovering his status, violated the Quarantine Act to embark on a private treatment for his Coronavirus infection in Lagos against the directive and recommendation of senior government and health ministry officials.

He was denied the use of the Presidential Intensive Care Unit at Aso Villa, Abuja, and considered the Gwagwalada Specialist Hospital isolation unit too low for his standard and liking, and therefore opted to move to Lagos to find personal treatment for the virus. Ever since, his whereabouts have remained a mystery and shrouded in secrecy. Once, however, he was reported as speaking from his isolation base, saying he was still working.

Reacting to Kyari’s rejection of public isolation centres, a senior health ministry official, told SaharaReporters that the purpose of insisting that Kyari was placed in a public isolation centre was for proper monitoring and control of the infection spreading further.

“The purpose of the isolation centres is to get public protocols for monitoring and control of infections

“He can’t engage in private treatment since it is an infectious disease. It is wrong under the law.

“It was the same arrogance that led him to bring the infection from Germany after failing to honour protocols that could have prevented spread,” the ministry official said.

Recall that after returning from trips to Germany and Egypt and being infected with the virus, Kyari went about his daily activities as Chief of Staff to Nigeria’s President and in the process exposed dozens of persons to the virus. At least, three of aides were tested positive for the virus afterwards.

As of April 16, a total of 442 cases have been confirmed in the country with 152 recovery and 13 fatalities, according to NCDC. The disease was first discovered in nigeria on February 27 when an Italian index who just arrived Lagos and visited Ogun State tested positive. The Italian has since been cured and discharged.

The pandemic, which originated from Wuhan Province in China, has led to global lockdown even with many countries with functional health systems closing their borders to international visitors. The United States of America has recorded the largest number of fatalities so far even as the index country, China, has said it is now free of the disease and has released its lockdown.


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