Nigerian Embassy in U.S. suspends passport interviews over coronavirus

Nigerian Embassy in U.S. suspends passport interviews over coronavirus

- Passport interviews, biometric capturing has been suspended by the Nigerian Embassy in U.S.

- This was as a result of the coronavirus crises in the world

- However, they will continue to issue Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) to those who need to travel urgently

Nigeria’s diplomatic missions in Washington, New York and Atlanta, United States have suspended passport interviews and biometric capturing over the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

The suspension, which takes effect from Monday, is until further notice, the missions said in separate statements made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, March 15.

According to them, the decision is part of precautionary measures to protect the “health and wellbeing of all passport applicants” and their staff.

However, they will continue to issue Emergency Travel Certificate (ETC) to those who need to travel urgently, but through mail.

Applicants for ETC should forward their applications by mail, attaching the relevant documents and self-addressed mailing envelope,” the Nigerian embassy in Washington said.

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The Consulate in Atlanta added that the ETC would be processed and mailed back to the applicants.

On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the disease, which has rattled the world.

As at Sunday morning, the virus had infected no fewer than 2,815 people and killed 59 others in 49 states across the U.S., including the capital Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng had reported that the United States government has approved Roche Holding AG for a highly automated coronavirus test, potentially speeding up tenfold the ability to test patients.

Bloomberg reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an “emergency use authorisation” to the test, which runs on Roche’s cobas 6800/8800 systems.

Legit.ng gathered that Roche said the tool also is available in Europe and countries that accept its CE marking for medical devices.

The 8800 version is capable of testing 4,128 patients a day, and the 6,800 can test as many as 1,440, the Basel, Switzerland-based company said.

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The report also noted that Roche shares climbed as much as 4.9% early Friday, March 13, leading the Stoxx Europe 600 index.

“We are increasing the speed definitely by a factor of 10,” Thomas Schinecker, head of Roche’s diagnostics unit, said in an interview.

"Testing is crucial to stem the spread of Covid-19 because it allows health care workers to identify the infected and quarantine them, even if they’re not experiencing any symptoms. That can potentially reduce the overall number of infections and buy time for drugmakers to come up with better treatments and, ultimately, a vaccine.

"This is the third test and first commercially available one granted emergency approval by the FDA. The agency in February cleared diagnostic tools brought forth by the CDC and the New York State Department of Public Health," the statement read.

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It was gathered that the US and much of Europe have been criticised for testing their populations too slowly, allowing the virus to proliferate.

Roche’s cobas systems, launched in 2014, are widely available globally, with 695 of the 6800 instruments and 132 of the 8800 systems already installed.

There are 110 of these tools in the US and Roche has installed a “significant amount” of new ones in key locations in the US in recent weeks, Schinecker said.

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Source: Legit

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