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Evacuation may end this week, US tells citizens in Nigeria - PUNCH

APRIL 07, 2020

by  Kayode Oyero

The US Mission in Nigeria has advised its citizens intending to leave Nigeria to do so quickly as evacuation flights may end this week, The PUNCH has learnt.

The US also informed potential evacuees from Nigeria amid the coronavirus pandemic that the hospitals in the US were overwhelmed.

In a statement on its website on Monday, it told its citizens that the registration for evacuation flights from Nigeria ends at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 8.

US nationals at the departure wing of MMIA on Monday. Photo: US Mission in Nigeria

The statement read, “The U.S. Embassy in Abuja is in the process of contacting persons who have registered their interest in being placed on an evacuation flight.

“The flight is estimated to travel later this week, but we do not have exact information at this time.  After this flight, there are no other flights currently scheduled.

“Due to the unprecedented nature of this situation and the worldwide effort to ensure all American Citizens have a chance to return to the United States, U.S. Embassy Abuja is not aware of when Washington, DC would be in a position to charter another aircraft.

“U.S. Embassy Abuja urges all persons who are considering evacuation to take advantage of this opportunity.

 “If you have not yet registered your interest in repatriation flights but are interested in this week’s flight, you must register your interest no later than 9:00 am on Wednesday, April 8.”

The PUNCH had reported that 376 American citizens were flown from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos to Washington Dulles International Airport on Monday.

Countries including the United Kingdom and some others from the Middle East and Europe have also recently evacuated their citizens from Nigeria using emergency flights permitted by the Federal Government despite closures of Nigerian airports.

While COVID-19 cases in Nigeria are over 200, there are over 250,000 cases in the US, according to the World Health Organisation live situation dashboard on COVID-19 as of the time of filing this report.

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