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15 Senators Did NOT Test Positive for Covid-19

Photo Credit: The Guardian Nigeria 2 mins read

A publication by Pearls news says 15 Nigerian senators has been tested positive for Covid-19. 

No Nigerian senator has tested positive for coronavirus, not according to the NCDC or any credible news platform. The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control remains the number one source on all updates to confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country.

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It is no news that Covid-19 finally found its way into Nigerian airspace. With over 40 index cases, it’s impossible to ignore. Amid this ever-present headline, Pearl news published a report two days ago claiming over 15 senators tested positive with Covid-19. What is more, this report surfaces after news broke that some government officials tested positive to the virus. 

Verification

Our first point of contact was the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). According to the NCDC, there are 29 cases in Lagos, 8 in Abuja, 1 in Bauchi, 1 in Ekiti, 1in Oyo, 1 in Edo and 3 in Ogun. Amongst the cases, not a single mention or description of 15 Nigerian senators.

Furthermore, a publication by Premium Times debunked this claim yesterday. According to the column, Mr Oloriegbe said, “So far, there is no senator that has tested positive as far as my knowledge is concerned, as of this moment.”

Reportedly, Abba Kyari, the Nigerian chief of staff wrote to the speaker of the house of representatives Femi Gbajabiamila. The letter stated how some lawmakers have refused to subject themselves to airport screening. But, Mr Oloriegbe suggested the letter was a fake, due to the fact that it was wrongly addressed. Nonetheless, it is important to note that said letter did not categorically state that the lawmakers have been tested and confirmed positive.   

Abba Kyari tests positive for Covid-19

Meanwhile, news reports yesterday confirmed that Abba Kyari tested positive with Covid-19. This revelation set social media ablaze, with many wondering if the President was the next victim. Although, some reports attest to the President’s testing negative for the disease. The fact is there are a lot of possibilities which necessitates the need for testing on governors, senators and political office holders; a viewpoint echoed by this report by Premium Times.

However, the NCDC remains the number one source for all coronavirus related updates. Everything else is essentially hearsay and speculation. Meanwhile, we are not unaware of theories which claim more cases exist than what statistics say. This, however, is an opinion and falls outside our jurisdiction. Still, it all buttresses the need for flattening the curve by following WHO protocols and staying updated with information from the NCDC. 

Temilade Onilede is a researcher and the Programme Assistant for Dubawa, Nigeria. She holds an undergraduate degree in Performing Arts From the University of Ilorin, Ilorin Kwara State. She is a trained journalist, with good research and writing skills, coupled with her knowledge in Journalism; a personable character and an engaging mind who is well skilled in the field of fact-checking and verification.

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