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Coronavirus: 700 Nigerians set for evacuation in US, says Consul-General

Evacuation of Nigerians stranded in the United States due to the novel coronavirus will begin on May 10, the Consulate of Nigeria in New York has announced.

It said 700 Nigerians have registered with the missions in the US for the evacuation, which would be done in batches.

The Consul-General, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, disclosed this in a notice on Sunday.

It was announced that over 2,000 Nigerians in China, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and others had also indicated interests in returning home on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

The consulate said the first batch of 270 evacuees would be transported to Abuja through an Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 509.

The plane is expected to depart the Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey at 9:15p.m. and fly directly to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Federal Government had earlier said the returning citizens would pay for their flight and also be put in compulsory quarantine on arrival in Nigeria.

The notice stated, “The projected cost for the one-way economy ticket is between 1,300 dollars (N488,800) and 1,700 dollars (N639,200) per adult.

“Please note that over 700 Nigerian nationals have registered with our missions in the USA to be evacuated.

“However, only 270 passengers shall be accommodated in this batch of evacuation.”

The mission further said the applicants would be prioritised according to their immigration status.

“This includes the need to consider those stranded with proof of short-stay visas, the elderly, families with children and returning students,” it noted.

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Written by Vivian Ifezue

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