Aso Rock and Abuja Diplomatic circle has been badly hit by Covid-19 sparking heavy tension, ENigeria Newspaper reports.
The COVID-19 pandemic is alleged to have infected a number of presidential staffers at Aso Rock, including close advisers to President Muhammadu Buhari who are tasked with his protection, ENigeria Newspaper understands.
The virus has infected the president’s permanent secretary in the State House, Tijani Umar; his Aide-de-Camp (ADC), Yusuf Dodo; his Chief Security Officer (CSO), Aliyu Musa; and his senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of communication and culture, is also said to have been infected with the virus Premium Times reports.
The virus’s spread is not restricted to officials at Aso Villa, according to LEADERSHIP Newspaper, as an unidentified number of persons in Abuja’s diplomatic circle have also been infected.
ENigeria Newspaper reports that personnel from embassies and high commissioners at the impacted missions who had previously been granted leave are now being asked back to help cover the gap in the workforce.
Local personnel at the Australian High Commission in Abuja are among those being called back from leave, according to reports.
According to investigations conducted by this newspaper, embassies in Abuja, notably those of wealthier countries, were among the first to vaccinate their ambassadors and local personnel.
Though the number of infected embassies or workers in the impacted embassies has not been determined, it has been learned that those who get the virus are primarily vaccinated individuals, a reality that has heightened tensions in the Abuja diplomatic circuit.
Meanwhile, diplomatic offices in Nigeria have reportedly increased cautious steps to combat the COVID-19 epidemic, despite the Omicron form causing global worry.
ENigeria Newspaper also has information that one of the European country’s missions in Abuja follows the COVID-19 protocols to the letter.
The embassy has reduced the amount of visits and barred visa applicants from entering the mission’s premises, since most applicants are obliged to remain at security checkpoints and are usually called one by one to discuss their issues.
Because of the pandemic, most missions no longer hold media events like they did before the virus spread, and some prefer virtual interactions instead.
The majority of them have canceled their usually raucous national day celebrations, which would normally draw enormous crowds.
This year, only a few of them have hosted such events while adhering to the COVID-19 standards.
Appointments are strictly by invitation only at one of the African country’s missions, and no one is allowed inside any mission without wearing face masks, despite the fact that specific sitting arrangements have been made to maintain social distance.
This mission also has arduous visa application procedures, which require prospective travelers to obtain valid COVID-19 test results and meet other criteria before being granted visas.
As of the time of writing, Aso Rock Villa is alleged to be deserted, with several of the President’s aides and cabinet members reportedly taking precautionary steps to avoid contacting the virus.