By Felix Khanoba
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has put in place an emergency response team to safeguard Nigerian students studying in foreign countries from the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19).
The umbrella students’ body in the country said some of the overseas students have called for evacuation while others have made case for relief assistance to enable them withstand the economic impact of the epidemic.
A statement posted on its twitter handle-@NANSNG on Saturday, President of the Association, Comrade Danielson Bamidele Akpan, said the emergency response team would liaise fully with the students and local agencies of government on best possible interventions.
It reads: “These are indeed no ordinary times as the COVID-19 pandemic still continues to ravage the globe at such an alarming proportion. Our dear country isn’t also spared as cases keep rising on a daily basis.
“Most of you will confirm that we have been in touch with your leadership, and some of you directly on this subject matter, while being very careful on the best steps (that may guarantee your safety) to take at precarious times like this. Some of you have suggested evacuation , others have requested relief assistance and we have continued to engage relevant authorities such as the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the National Diaspora Commission on best steps possible at this time.
“We have set up a NANS Diaspora Emergency Response Team to liaise between you and local agencies of government on best possible interventions.
“This Team will also liaise with Offices of Special Assistants to State Governors on Student Matters to explore chances of relief to emanate from your home state governments, and the Federal Government.”
While saying the team would also explore other avenues of raising funds via NANS Patrons and other persons of goodwill to ameliorate the situation, Danielson called on the students to always observe all safety precautions in order to avoid the virus.
“Stay at home; strict physical distancing; sanitize always; call medical emergency contacts in your host country if you suspect any symptoms; stay safe, alive for us,” he added.