INDICATIONS emerged Sunday that the presidency has put in place a policy that Governors, VIPs and other visitors to the Presidential Villa, Abuja will be required to take a rapid COVID-19 test before they would be allowed into the seat of power, either to visit the President or any other official.
This, it was gathered, became the new regulation for gaining access into the Villa as a result of the global spike in the rate of the virus’ infection, especially the Omicron variant, and the recent development in the Villa, which saw some officials and aides of the President testing positive for COVID-19.
Recall that a number of close aides of President Muhammadu Buhari, including his Senior Special Assistant on Media Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had tested positive to the virus and had gone on self-isolation for treatment.
However, the new regulation, according to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Shehu, will require every visitor to compulsorily take the test free of charge at the entrance gates of the Villa
He, however, noted that some exceptions had been made for a few leaders coming from outside, though such persons are still encouraged to still take the test for safety reasons.
He said, “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.
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“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.”
It was fathered that some visitors that wanted to see the President at the Presidential Villa last week we’re directed to take the covid-19 test before they were allowed to go in.
An unconfirmed report has it that even staff at the State House will be required to go for the Covid-19 test everyday before they would be allowed inside.