4th January, 2022
Visitors to the presidential villa in Abuja will henceforth be required to take rapid COVID tests before they are allowed entrance.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu announced this in an interview with Channels TV.
He said the new COVID-19 testing regime is not unusual, as it is the practice in government offices in other countries.
Shehu said all visitors, including state governors, are required to take the COVID-19 rapid test before entry into the presidential villa.
He explained that the test kits which are issued for free at the gate is a temporary measure against the backdrop of the recent spike in the number of cases of the COVID-19 virus in the country.
“Yes, a new regime of COVID-19 regulation has been put in place for all visitors to the Villa, not for Governors alone.
“Every visitor to the Villa, not just those seeing the president, is now required to do a rapid test at the gate.
“The kits are freely issued so no one is required to make payment. This is purely temporary in view of the recent spike in cases and will be removed any moment the situation abates. It’s a growing practice in government offices in many countries.
“Although some exceptions have been made for a few leaders in government coming from outside the Villa, they too are encouraged to do those tests.
“This policy has rightfully been justified following the discovery of COVID-19 positivity in some of those tested since the last few days of the practice,” Shehu said.
Last week, some aides of President Muhammadu Buhari were said to have tested positive for the virus.
Shehu announced last week that he tested positive for COVID and subsequently went into isolation.
He later announced in a Facebook post that he had recovered from the virus.