Coronavirus: About 4,000 Nigerians need evacuation across the world - FG

Coronavirus: About 4,000 Nigerians need evacuation across the world - FG

- The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the evacuation of about 4,000 Nigerians back to the country will begin on Wednesday

- Onyeama said the evacuation will be done in batches due to the challenges of where to quarantine the evacuees for 14 days

- The minister also said efforts are ongoing to find a way to subsidise the fees to make the financial burden light for the evacuees

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The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says almost 4,000 Nigerians across the world are wishing to come back home.

Onyeama made this known during the daily briefing by the presidential task force on COVID-19 on Monday, May 4. gathers that the minister spoke in response to questions about the commencement of evacuating Nigerians from abroad.

Onyeama said the first batch of evacuation will commence on Wednesday, May 6 from the United Arab Emirates to Lagos while the second batch will be on Saturday, May 8, from London to Lagos.

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He noted that the evacuated Nigerians will undergo a compulsory quarantine and will be monitored for 14 days before reuniting with their families.

The minister noted that the major challenge with the evacuation is where to quarantine the evacuees upon their return which is the reason why the process has been arranged in batches.

His words: “On Wednesday, 6th May, 2020, we will start the process of repatriating our Nationals from outside the country with Emirates Airline from UAE to Lagos. This will be followed by British Airways flight on Saturday, 8th May, 2020 from London to Lagos. The evacuees will be on mandatory quarantine in hotels and will be monitored for 14 days”.

“There are almost 4,000 Nigerians wishing to come back home. There are various constraints on us, the biggest one is where to quarantine them upon arrival. So we will have to do it in batches”.

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He said the federal government has agreed to use the Ethiopian Airlines to bring back significant numbers of Nigerians home from China and other countries.

Onyeama said the presidential task force is working with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to see how the evacuation fees can be subsidised so as to make the financial burden of the evacuees as light as possible.

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Meanwhile, the federal government has vowed to lock down parts of the country again should there be a spike in coronavirus cases.

This was revealed during the daily briefing of the briefing on Monday.

Speaking at the briefing, the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, lamented that many banks flouted the NCDC’s guideline for social distancing, infection prevention and control.

He said although the NCDC expected some lapses in compliance with safety precautions, it was worried by the widespread disobedience to the guidelines by corporate organisations.

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