The Presidency has disclosed that all visitors to the Presidential Villa in Abuja will henceforth take a rapid COVID-19 test before being allowed entry.
According to the Nation, the new regulation applied to those visiting the President including the governors or those visiting any other official in the Aso Rock.
This was made known by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stressing that every visitor would be required to compulsorily take the test free of charge at the entrance gates of the Villa.
He explained that some exceptions had been made for a few leaders coming from outside, though such persons were still encouraged to still take the test for safety reasons.
“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 positivity in some of those tested since the last few days of the practice,” he explained.
Presidential aides and some other officials had recently tested positive to Covid-19.
Those affected had included the permanent secretary in the State House, Tijani Umar; the President’s Aide-de-camp (ADC), Yusuf Dodo; his chief security officer (CSO), Aliyu Musa, and his senior special assistant (media and publicity), Garba Shehu.
Reports had also claimed that the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, was also down with the virus, although he later denied it.