According to the presidential aide, the Muhammadu Buhari administration has taken some steps to mitigate the effects on the Nigerian people.
He said, to prevent the spread of cases imported into Nigeria, the President had already ordered the restrictions of travel from 13 countries, each with more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19.
He added that the government had also suspended visas issued to nationals of these countries.
“The restriction will take effect from March 21 and will remain until further notice. While Nigeria delights in welcoming the world, the safety and protection of our citizens and land must take priority.
“The various agencies of government including Media owned by the government have embarked on vigorous campaigns promoting hygiene measures.
“There are, currently, very stringent regimes of checks at the points of air and sea entry into the country. The effort Nigeria is making as is well known, has already received the commendation of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The Presidency wishes to assure Nigerians that the government is on top of the situation. There is no cause for panic. So far measures put in place are working efficiently. What this country is doing has been recommended as a template.
“The President trusts the relevant Ministers in his cabinet and the officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), who are providing him with constant updates and professional counsel. These officials have a track record of competence,’’ he said.
Shehu reassured that the government would continue to update the general public with relevant information.
He, therefore, pleaded for the support and cooperation of all Nigerians in tackling the Coronavirus disease in the country.
“We do not want to create panic. But we will continue to update the Nigerian public with relevant information.
“We plead with every Nigerian to cooperate with the government in the fight against Covid-19 and obey all instructions from the NCDC.
“We have a high-level Presidential Coordination Committee chaired by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. This body should be allowed to carry out its duties,’’ he said.
The presidential aide also warned against the politicization of the Coronavirus disease as such an act would not augur well for the country.
According to him, these are not the times for populism and cheap politics
“We also plead with Nigerians not to see this most peculiar of times as one to be politicised or seen as an opportunity to regurgitate grudges against the government or the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“North, South, East, and West – all Nigerians must unite to fight this plague, irrespective of religious or ideological affiliation.
“In this regard, populist advocacies such as the one accusing the President of “complacency” simply because he has not made a television address by ranking members of our respected parliament are cheap and sensational.’’
Shehu quoted President Buhari to have thanked all those at the forefront of the fight against the deadly disease.