Bauchi State Governor, Bala Muhammed, has joined a growing list of Nigerian VIPs and their children who have tested positive to the coronavirus.

As the day drew to a close today 24 March, the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says 44 cases of coronavirus have so far been uncovered, most of them from citizens who hurried home from abroad within the past seven days.

The Bauchi State Government confirmed in a statement this evening that the result of the test from the Governor, who volunteered himself to the test yesterday, came out positive.

The Governor’s Senior Assistant on Media, Mukhtar Gidado, who signed the statement said that the NCDC took six tests from members of the Governor’s family but only one of the samples – belonging to the Governor – returned positive.

Although there was no mention of a recent history of travel, Gidado said the infection may be linked to an encounter that the Governor had on an Abuja-bound plane which took off from Lagos last week.

Both Atiku’s son, who had earlier tested positive, and the Governor were said to have ridden in the same plane and exchanged pleasantries through the flight, necessitating the voluntary testing by the Governor.

The nation was also thrown into consternation early today when it was revealed that the virus has infected a power broker at Aso Rock,  Mallam Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to the President who many believe is the power behind the throne.

Another VIP, a retired director in the NNPC who once headed the organisation’s cash cow – the Pipelines Products & Marketing Company (PPMC) – is the first and so far only Nigerian to have succumbed to the virus.

More than 90 percent of the cases so far confirmed as positive come from Nigerians who recently returned from western countries, including two additional cases uncovered today and announced by the NCDC, bringing Nigeria’s total cases to 44.