The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has announced that evacuation of Nigerians in diaspora is set to resume again.
Speaking at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 on Monday, the Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu also announced that the modified guidelines to guide the process have been approved by the PTF.
According to Aliyu, these new modalities seek to “make use of the limited resources and ensure that Nigerians are safely returned home,” while also mitigating risks and ensuring that infections stay in check.
Those who wish to be evacuated are first expected to get registered with the Nigerian missions which will be coordinating the evacuation.
They are also expected to obtain a COVID-19 clearance showing that they are free of the virus. As stated earlier, Nigerians who test positive will not be allowed to board the evacuation flight. The test must have been conducted less than 14 days before the flight or it would be considered invalid.
Intending evacuees will also be required to sign an undertaking promising to abide by the guidelines and safety precautions put in place. This is a requirement for boarding.
Upon arrival in Nigeria, they will be required to undergo clearance at the airports, while their passports are withheld by the immigration authorities, pending the outcome of the second testing.
Those who test positive will be taken in for treatment and those whose tests return negative will still have to self-isolate for 14 days before they are signed off and allowed to take their passports and go home.
Intending evacuees are to note also that they will bear the costs implication for their lodging in Abuja or Lagos for the two weeks before they are allowed to return home to their families.
However, those who reside in the arrival locations (Lagos or Abuja) and can self-isolate in their homes will be allowed to do so under strict supervision from the NCDC.
Aliyu stated further that priority consideration will be given to those in challenging condition -“short term visitors, those on medical trips, those on holidays, pregnant mothers and students”.
The target, according to Aliyu, is to evacuate a minimum of 1000 Nigerians every week, thus clearing the backlog caused by the long break in the evacuation process.