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Buhari not going to address Nigerians over COVID-19 updates on Monday – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari is no longer scheduled to address the citizenry as expected later on Monday, May 18.

This was at variance with a statement made by Aliyu Sani, the national coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, that President Buhari would address Nigerians.

However, the Presidency via a tweet by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari; stated, “No presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates today. None was planned. Rather, the Presidential Task Force will during its usual media briefings bring the nation up to speed on the next steps.”

Meanwhile, a virologist, Prof. Mathew Kolawole, advised on Monday that Nigeria needed to look inwards in dealing with the novel coronavirus.

Kolawole, who is the Director of the Institute of Molecular Sciences and Biotechnology at the University of Ilorin; said that Nigeria needed to take responsibility in dealing with the virus, due to its high level of transmissibility.

The don, who gave the advice while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin; noted that the virus had been with humanity, recalling that research had reported a strain of the virus in Nigeria in 2017.

Kolawole, who was recently appointed into the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19; affirmed that “it is not new to us, this virus has been with us.

“It is just that we have this novel strain of coronavirus which is in circulation globally.

“We have reported coronavirus OC’23 strain in Nigeria. The research was conducted in a group”.

On the transmission modes, the don pointed out that from the study and investigation carried out in 2017, over-crowding had been found to be responsible for the spread of the disease.

He stated that regulations of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organisation’s guidelines also stated the need to keep social distance.

“We need to look at the transmission modes of the virus; particularly the one that has to do with the fact that we need to prevent overcrowding.

“Part of the study/investigation that we did in 2017 makes the risk factor established, over-crowding has been adduced to the spread of coronavirus.’’

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