ABUJA (Reuters) – Garba Shehu, the Nigerian president’s senior media aide, said on Saturday he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was in isolation.

Shehu, in his early fifties, is in the immediate entourage of President Muhammadu Buhari, 79.

“I can only confirm that (I am) infected with COVID-19 and undergoing treatment in isolation,” Shehu said.

Several local newspapers reported that some of Buhari’s aides and senior officials contracted the virus, including Information Minister Lai Mohammed.

Mohammed did not respond to calls for comment while a spokesperson for the presidency declined to say whether another official or minister was infected and whether Buhari, who received a booster on Tuesday, was tested.

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Buhari and some ministers recently attended summits in Dubai and Turkey after hosting South African President Cyril Ramaphosa last month just as the Omicron COVID-19 variant was detected in southern Africa and Hong Kong.

Nigeria, which has so far recorded 234,709 confirmed cases with 2,993 deaths, began offering booster injections this month after confirming its first cases of the Omicron variant among travelers arriving from South Africa .

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; additional reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Aurora Ellis)

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