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COVID-19: US Evacuates 44,000 Americans From Nigeria, 77 Other Countries

The United States Government on Tuesday gave an update on the evacuation of its citizens in Nigeria and other countries amid the COVID-19 global crisis.

On Monday, Ethiopian Airlines evacuated 385 Americans to Washington D.C.

They were airlifted with a B777-300 aircraft from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

A ‘Fact Sheet on Repatriation of American Citizens from Nigeria’ sent to DAILY POST on Tuesday by the U.S. Embassy said the Department of State’s priority was the safety and security of all citizens overseas.

“We are rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, every day, all over the world”, it noted.

The sheet disclosed that as of April 6, over 44,000 U.S. citizens in Nigeria and 77 other nations have been repatriated.

The countries are Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea.

Others are Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Pakistan, Panama.

Also on the list are Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, and Uzbekistan.

The document assured that U.S. Embassies and Consulates were working tirelessly to identify transportation options for Americans seeking to return home.

It added that where commercial transportation options no longer exist, other possible means, including charter flights, are being explored.

“The U.S. Mission to Nigeria is organizing evacuation flights for American citizens who desire to return to the United States, now that commercial flights are no longer available. The flights will depart from Lagos and Abuja.

“American citizens who have expressed a desire to depart on these flights are being contacted by our Consular staff. Bearing in mind, that space on the flights is limited, no one should come to the airport if they have not been contacted.”

DAILY POST reported that other countries that have evacuated their nationals or are in the process are Egypt, France, Israel and Germany.

The coronavirus pandemic originated from Wuhan, China in December 2019.

Wuhan is, however, returning to normalcy and authorities have announced the resumption of activities.

The city’s COVID-19 travel ban will be lifted on Wednesday, April 8. Over 80 bullet trains, at train stations in Hubei, will commence operation.

COVID-19 has claimed nearly 80,000 lives and affected over 1.3million people.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has put the number of coronavirus cases in the country at 238.

Five deaths have been recorded since the index case (an Italian) was announced on February 28.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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