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160 stranded Nigerian returnees from U.S. go into isolation in Abuja

From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

One hundred and sixty stranded Nigerians were brought back from the United States (U.S.) early yesterday. They were flown into Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

They are the third batch of Nigerians to be evacuated following the suspension of commercial flights in the wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

More than 4000 Nigerians are stranded across the globe due to the lockdown occasioned by the pandemic, which has infected over four million and claimed 280,000 lives across the globe.

As at 7pm yesterday, Nigeria has 4,151 confirmed cases and 128 deaths.

The flight carrying the third first batch of the stranded Nigerians arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 11.05am on Sunday.

They arrived aboard an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 787 aircraft under the special flight arrangements by the Federal Government for nationals stranded abroad.

Amongst them are 92 males, 60 females and eight infants.

Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, said: “ET Flight 8509 conveying 160 Nigerian evacuees from the US has safely arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.”

In line with standard protocols, they will be tested on the 13th day of their seclusion to determine their COVID-19 status before they will be allowed to reunite with members of their families.

According to an earlier statement issued by the Nigeria Consulate in the U.S., during the 14 days isolation, “all returnees will be tested for COVID-19 and will also be re-tested at the end of the quarantine period.

“Only those that test negative will be allowed to retrieve their passports from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), while positive cases will be transferred to designated isolation centers for treatment.

“Please, note that returnees will be responsible for planning their own travel arrangements from Abuja to their respective destinations within Nigeria after the compulsory quarantine period.”

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