BusinessDay

Coronavirus: US announces evacuation of citizens from Nigeria

...to leave positive cases behind

The United States Government has issued a circular announcing that it would soon evacuate its citizens in Nigeria back to America as a result of the outbreak and continued spread of Coronavirus insisting on a 14-day self-isolation.

A statement on the website of U.S Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria, said that if the citizen tests positive after 14 days, he/she will not be allowed to board the flight back to the States.

Currently (as at the time of this report), Nigeria has 131 confirmed cases of the pandemic, two recorded deaths and eight recovered, compared to the United states’ 164,266 total confirmed cases with 3,170 deceased and about 5,507 recovered.

The statement further stated that Americans willing to board the special flights home must sign promissory notes to pay for the full cost of the air ticket when they arrive their country.

“Please note that all individuals who choose to return to the U.S. on a flight organised by the U.S. Department of State will be required to sign a promissory note to pay for the full cost of the seat(s) on the flight. #USMissionNigeria,” the U.S Mission to Nigeria tweeted.

The statement added that there is no specific flight information but that options being looked at will likely take citizens to a major city on the East Coast.

The mission also stated that routine consular service had been suspended and US citizens would have to send messages for emergency services.

The statement reads further: “Following CDC guidelines, individuals who are confirmed or have symptoms or who have been in close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus, are asked to self-isolate/quarantine for a period of 14 days.

“If that 14-day period has not passed, or if you have been tested and are positive for the virus, you will not be allowed to board the flight back to the U.S.

“The flight will be one-way to a destination likely to be a major city somewhere on the East Coast. Once you arrive in the U.S., you will be responsible to get yourself to your final destination.

“If you need to return to Nigeria, you will also be responsible for booking and paying for that ticket as this is not a roundtrip flight.

“The Embassy in Abuja and Consulate in Lagos are unable to assist with lodging, food, or transportation costs.

“We have also been notified that many hotels are closed or will be closing. U.S. citizens who have friends or relatives with whom they can reside in Lagos or Abuja should consider travelling there before borders close, keeping in mind that no flight details are available at present and you may need to shelter in place for a few weeks.”

Earlier, Air France was granted permission to airlift European citizens from Nigeria over fears that they might be infected with the virus that is fast spreading in the country.

The airline has evacuated the first batch of Europeans and will repeat the trip on April 2 and 9.

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