Panic on Tuesday gripped some governors and ministers as the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, tested positive for COVID-19.

The panic among the governors and the ministers stemmed from the fact that Kyari after his return from foreign trips a few days ago attended the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, while Mohammed was at the National Executive Council meeting on Thursday.

Kyari, after Nigeria, recorded the first coronavirus case on February 27 visited Germany and Egypt. In Germany, he and the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, on March 9, met Siemens officials over the power deal signed with the company.

A top government official said there was concern that Kyari and Mohammed could have infected some ministers and governors.

The source stated, “Panic has gripped governors. Kyari went into isolation on Monday, but before that, he had attended the FEC meeting and also traveled to Kogi State to sympathize with the state Governor, Yahaya Bello over the death of his mother.

“Also Bauchi governors attended the NEC meeting on Thursday. There are fears that both of them could have infected their colleagues with the disease.”

Also gripped with fear were those who had visited the Villa in the last one week and met Kyari.

As panic gripped governors and ministers, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control said on Tuesday COVID-19 cases had increased to 44 from 40 on Monday.

The NCDC, on its twitter handle, said eight confirmed cases had been recorded in Abuja, one in Bauchi State, one in Edo State, one in Ekiti State, 29 in Lagos State and three in Ogun State.

“As at 06:25pm on 24th March, there are 44 confirmed cases of #COVID-19 in Nigeria. Two have been discharged with one death,” the NCDC stated.

A top source at the Federal Ministry of Health confirmed to The PUNCH that Kyari, who recently returned from Germany, was among those who tested positive on Tuesday.

He, however, said the President, Muhammadu Buhari had tested negative but the President would be tested again in a few days.

• Panic in Bauchi as Gov Mohammed’s positive status is confirmed

In Bauchi State, the Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, also tested positive for coronavirus.

The governor had on Monday gone into self-isolation after having contact with a son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar abroad an Aero Contractors flight from Lagos to Abuja.

Atiku’s son, Mohammed, tested positive for the disease on Sunday night. His father said he recently travelled to Switzerland.