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‘We made efforts to prevent it’ — Buhari breaks silence on coronavirus



President Muhammadu Buhari says he is saddened by the case of coronavirus in Nigeria despite the efforts to prevent it.

Buhari said this in his first public comment on the disease since it was recorded in Nigeria on Friday.

A 44-year-old Italian had flown into the country from Milan, Italy, through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, before heading to Ogun state where he tested positive to the virus.

He was confirmed as the first coronavirus patient in Nigeria and has been quarantined at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Yaba, Lagos.

In a statement by Garba Shehu, his spokesman, Buhari urged Nigerians not to panic.

“President Muhammadu Buhari notes with sadness, the recent confirmation of a case of Covid-19 infection in Lagos, Nigeria,” the statement read.

“This was despite the ardent efforts of the government regarding preparedness and response measures put in place in our country’s borders and beyond.”

The president urged citizens to adhere to all the safety measures disseminated by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“President Buhari, however, commends the Federal Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies whose diligence and efficiency enabled the case to be detected, diagnosed and isolated quickly, even while swift measures were taken to identify and follow up on those with whom the index patient came into contact,” the statement read.

“The President commends the responses of the Federal Ministry of Health and Governments of Lagos and Ogun States as well as other relevant agencies to the reported incident and calls for vigilance on the part of all citizens and responsible government agencies.

“President Buhari urges Nigerians not to panic about the news of this first case of Covid-19 in our country, as undue alarm would do us more harm than good.

“Instead, Nigerians should strictly observe the advisories disseminated by the Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation (WHO), on the best way to prevent infection.”

Buhari’s comment on the disease comes after the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expressed concerns over the president’s silence on the outbreak.

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