COVID-19: Evacuation of Nigerians from U.S. begins May 10



Evacuation of Nigerians stranded in the U.S. due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is to begin on May 10, according to the Consulate-General of Nigeria in New York.

The consulate-general disclosed this in a notice signed by the Consul-General, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, on behalf of the Nigerian Missions in the U.S., on .

According to the notice, no fewer than 700 Nigerians have registered with the missions in the U.S. for evacuation, which will be done in batches.

It said that 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 Airport in New Jersey 9.15p.m., and fly directly to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

As earlier announced by the Federal , the flight is the expense of the evacuees, who will all fly class, according to the notice.

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

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

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

“Missions will, therefore, attend to applicants on a first come, first served basis and shall prioritise the list of evacuees 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 said.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, Okoyen said that the dates for subsequent batches would be announced in due course.

To curb the of COVID-19, the Federal on 18 imposed restrictions on travels from 13 countries with high burdens.

The countries are China, Iran, South Korea, Germany, Italy, U.S. United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, France, Japan, Australia and Sweden.

Consequently, many Nigerians, who were on short-term visits to the affected countries, became stranded. NAN