RESIDENTS of Abuja have been left in fears after the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) isolated participants of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari‘s burial.
Anxiety had risen after a video showing a man tossing away his hazmat suit outside the cemetery ground, went viral, as the immediate implication of the man’s action became obvious.
Late Saturday, the Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) stated that “all the individuals including the man in question that participated in the burial and were not properly kitted have been identified and are being isolated.”
In a statement, the acting Secretary, of the Secretariat, FCTA, Dr Mohammed Kawu, reassured that, the discarded hazmat suit “has been professionally evacuated and the entire cemetery decontaminated.”
Kawu noted that necessary tests will be conducted to determine the level of exposure of each of those in isolation to ensure that they do not infect other people.
He said the Administration had also taken steps to ensure that all future burials of COVID-19 victims were conducted in line with the protocol established by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and assured residents that the FCT will do what’s necessary to check the spread of the coronavirus in the capital.
Human Rights Group Threatens To Sue FG, Kyari family
THE FCT’s response trailed a statement by a civil society organisation, the Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, threatening to sue the Federal Government and the late Kyari’s family, in the aftermath of the internment.
According to the group, the presidency failed to conduct a private burial in view of the pandemic, but defied the social distancing measures in holding a public, crowded burial.
Worried that there could be an escalation in the spread of the coronavirus after the burial, the group said it would carry out its threat if the government fails to produce those who attended the burial for 14 days of isolation.
The group’s executive director, Okere Nnamdi, in the statement, noted that with Abba Kyari’s burial, “families of other COVID-19 demised persons will activate demand to have the corpses of their loved ones released to them for burial, and all these, if allowed, will further breach the WHO international standard for burial of COVID-19 casualties.”
Kyari Courts Controversy In Death
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said that the body would be handled according to the protocol put in place by the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC for the burial of coronavirus victims. According to him, the burial would be private and there would be no ceremonies or condolence visits.
Kyari, 83, died Friday, in a Lagos hospital, of complications related to the COVID-19.
An influential figure in the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, he reportedly got infected while on an official trip to Germany.
He was transferred from Abuja to Lagos for more medical attention amidst reports that Chinese doctors were flown in to take special care of him. A significant figure in the administration, his death has left a huge vacuum, which will be felt by his long time friend, former colleague and boss, President Muhammadu Buhari.