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COVID-19: Where Exactly is Abba Kyari? [FACT CHECK]

Since the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in December 2019, it has spread across over 180 countries, affected thousands of lives and killed many. As at the time of writing this piece, Nigeria has confirmed 65 cases. In all, one has been declared dead. Two were earlier discharged and Lagos Government on Thursday also revealed its plan of discharging six patients.

This newspaper alongside others, on Tuesday, reported that the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari was tested positive to Coronavirus. He had earlier visited Germany on March 7 and returned about a week later.

Although, no official confirmation but officials in the presidency did not deny the report. In fact, the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire confirmed that a top aide to the president is infected. Like every other fake news, a voice message went viral on WhatsApp and Twitter on Thursday claiming Mr Buhari and Mr Kyari have been flown out of the country to the United Kingdom for treatment.

A check by POLITICS NIGERIA proved otherwise. While spokesperson to Mr Buhari, Garba Shehu denied this, sources in the health sector and also those in the presidency confirmed to this newspaper that TRULY, Mr Kyari is not in Abuja but NOT flown out of the country.

The Chief of Staff to the president was rather moved from Abuja to Lagos for treatment.

The sources pleaded anonymity because they are not authorized to talk to journalists.

Moreso, Bashir Ahmed, the special assistant to the president on new media, debunked the travel out of Nigeria claim.  Considering facts and independent investigations before this newspaper, it is False to say that Mr Kyari was flown out of the country.

POLITICS NIGERIA reported how the Nigerian government placed a travel ban on 15 high-risk Covid-19 countries. These countries are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, Norway, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and Austria.

Nigerians have been through a roller coaster of emotions since the emergence of COVID-19 and devastating messages still trend online.

This newspaper may not have the facilities to outrightly state the reason for these fake news but we won’t allow them to win as we shall continue to debunk every misinformation during this period of uncertainties.

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Kabir Adejumo

Adejumo Kabir is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is a great researcher with dozens of investigative journalism awards to his name at the national and international level. He loves community journalism and supports all aspects of public enlightenment. He has experience writing well-researched and impactful reports for several online publications. He is the Director of Campus Press Hub and Author of Campus Journalism Beginners' Handbook. He has also been shortlisted for the DAME Awards for his contributions to Journalism

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