By John Okeke
The Federal Government yesterday said that 265 Nigerians stranded in United Arab Emirate (UAE) due to Coronavirus pandemic are to be returned to Nigeria Wednesday.
It said additional arrangements are equally being made with Ethiopian Airlines to facilitate the evacuation of another batch of evacuees from New York to Abuja on Monday, 11th May, 2020.
This was contained in a release by the Spokesperson,Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ferdinand Nwonye and made available to The Authority yesterday.
According to the release discussions are ongoing with British Airways, through the British High Commission in Nigeria, to evacuate about 300 Nigerians from London on Friday, 8th May, 2020, adding “the British Airways Flight 9155 will depart London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5, at 07:10am and arrive Lagos at 1:10pm same day.”
The release said that the evacuees on arrival in Nigeria will undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine in a monitored environment according to the global best practices.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that the Federal Government has commenced the process of evacuating willing Nigerian nationals outside the country. In accordance with global best practices and guidelines by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the evacuees on arrival in Nigeria will undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine in a monitored environment .
” The scheduled evacuation of the first batch of 265 Nigerians from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) would be conducted by Emirates Airline and the evacuees are expected to arrive Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on Wednesday, 6th May, 2020 at 3.00pm,” it said.
The Ministry said that adequate arrangements for hotel accommodation, in Lagos and Abuja, have been made for the evacuation exercise.
“The selected hotels have been inspected and certified by the Port Health Services, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser and Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” it said.
” The Federal Government wishes to reassure Nigerians of its unwaivering commitment to ensuring the welfare and safety of all citizens,” the released added.