Nigeria Records First Case of a Journalist testing Positive for COVID-19


The Covid-19 disease is rapidly spreading in Africa for three months now. The virus does not choose the size, age, occupation, or country. At the beginning of the year, it was well known as an imported disease but now spreading among communities. A total of 52 countries in Africa have confirmed cases with only Lesotho and Comoros yet to confirm.

For instance, Nigeria gets the first journalist testing positive for COVID-19. The journalist is a member of the Correspondents Chapel of the Adamawa Council. Adamawa Nigeria Union of Journalists directs its members to self-quarantine for at least fourteen days.

Confirmation of the Covid-19 case

On Wednesday, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri confirmed the news in a nationwide broadcast. Mr Ahmadu says the index case returned from Kano State last week. According to the governor, the individual was not feeling well and presented himself at the national Specialist Hospital, Yola. Doctors took samples, and results came out positive.

Following the reports, after the return from the North-West country, he proceeds to self-quarantine due to suspicion of virus exposure. Besides, while at the Specialist Hospital, he got a call from containment committee informing him that the results came out positive. A senior colleague also confirmed the news to The Guardian yesterday.

However, Governor Fintiri, together with his administration, have put all machinery in place to treat the journalist. At the moment, the reporter is in a quarantine centre in Yola. Furthermore, the governor says that the government has commissioned a contact- tracing mechanism. Those who had contact with the journalist are to quarantine and also get tested.

Government response

Following the identification of the infected journalist, the government has sealed the mosque where the reporter was regularly praying. According to the authorities, this is a preventive measure to curb the spread. Besides, Mr. Fintiri asked everyone to get ready for a total lockdown to minimize the chances of spreading the virus.

For the moment, the nation NUJ directed associates of the chapel to go on self-quarantine for fourteen days. Governor David Umahi sees it fit to destroy journalism as well as journalists in the Ebonyi state. However, the national secretariat of the NUJ yesterday condemned Umahi desperate desire. The boards’ National Secretary, Shuaibu Usman Leman says the instigated attacks against journalists are frightening.

Furthermore, Shuaibu Usman says it is evident that such attacks on the media aren’t going to fade away soon. The union regrets that Mr Umahi is attaining a bad name because of the continued harassment, insults and detention of journalists. To make it worse, Governor Umahi is also insulting and imprisoning journalists who dare report against his interests.

Yesterday, Ebonyi council said that media practitioners ought to have a better working environment and calming like health workers. The board council says it is vital as it will help them discharge their duties, especially during this trying time of the Coronavirus. Additionally, Tony Nziwi, the NUJ chairman, appeals for the same in Abakaliki. He also thanked Umahi for securing the nation from deadly COVID-19.


In my opinion, as much as governments want to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, it is not intelligent to insult or harass journalists. Although everything has its disadvantages, let us not forget how journalists help us. They play a significant role in the community, so let’s give them a favourable environment, especially in this trying pandemic time.



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