The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama during the daily briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID19 announced the suspension of the evacuation of stranded Nigerians overseas.
Recall that in April, the Federal government announced plans to evacuate Nigerians who are stranded abroad due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Part of the criteria for their return is for them to foot the cost of their return ticket and that they must be placed on a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in the country.
The Minister said the suspension of the evacuation is to make way for new measures that would require citizens returning from overseas to get tested and self-isolate at home rather than in selected hotels.
“Anybody that is going to be evacuated will, first of all, undergo a test from the countries they are leaving from, at least five days before travel and not later than nine days before.
That will be a pre-condition for boarding the flights to Nigeria. And if they are positive, they will not be able to board the flight. On arrival in Nigeria, Aliko Dangote and his other partners will have in place these units where they will take samples from the passengers coming in and they will retain their passports.
The passengers will then be able to go home and not into prescribed hotels to self-isolate. Results from those samples will then be ready within a day or two; those who are positive will then be taking in for isolation.
The whole issue of quarantining in hotels will no longer be necessary. This can also mean more people can also come back more frequently, and it will be a lot easier than it has been up to now.” Onyeama said.
Nigeria has evacuated 989 stranded citizens with 265 from United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom (253); United States (160); Saudi Arabia (292) and Lebanon (57).
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