John Ameh, Abuja
The Presidency has scaled down the coverage of the State House by media houses to only 13 in the wake of coronavirus spread to the seat of power.
The restrictions will be in place “until further notice as the coronavirus incident indicates.”
It said the decision was in compliance with the “social distancing” rule and accommodation of not more than 50 persons at any gathering.
The 13 media houses allowed to have access to the Villa henceforth are Deutsche Welle, NTA, Channels TV, TVC, FRCN, VON, NAN, The Sun, ThisDay, Leadership, Daily Trust, The Guardian and Vanguard.
A statement by the Director of Information, State House, Mr Attah Esa, said the Presidency had scaled down the number of staff in other departments as well, noting that “over 100” correspondents gathering for work daily was not in line with the social distancing rule and overcrowding.
The restrictions take effect from today.
Findings indicated that the directive was part of efforts that may gradually lead to shutting down the Villa, except for essential services.
It came amid reports on Tuesday that the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr Abba Kyari, and three of his members of staff, tested positive for coronavirus.