News Minister: Nigerian returnees prefer to be quarantined in Lagos

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Minister: Nigerian returnees prefer to be quarantined in Lagos

News Minister: Nigerian returnees prefer to be quarantined in Lagos

Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, Tuesday, at the weekly PTF briefing on COVID-19, said the first set of Nigerians anxious to return to the country would be evacuated soon.

The Federal Government has said Nigerians abroad repatriated into the country amid the pandemic prefer to arrive in Lagos State.

It also said the returnees prefer to be quarantined in Lagos but for capacity constraints.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who made this disclosure on Thursday evening during a briefing by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the first batch of 265 returnees that arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Wednesday night have been quarantined at two hotels.

He added that they would be there for 14 days during which they would be tested for coronavirus and those who test positive would be allowed to rejoin the society.

He said, “We would like to thank the Governor of Lagos State. His personal support and investment in this whole process has made this a very successful first step. He has given us a template to which we can now build and hopefully deliver better, going forward.

“We are hoping to have another flight tomorrow coming from the UK but this flight will be going to Abuja but they will be landing in Lagos first, that’s the plan and they will be ferried to Abuja.

“The reasons are these: We’ve been very mindful of the cost to the passengers coming home. We’ve tried as much as possible to minimise the burden on them, appreciating that a lot of them had stayed out more than they need to or want to and are probably out of pocket.

“We’ve tried to have a bargain with the various hotels to get a good rate as possible. Abuja offers us better economy in terms of hotel rates and we have more hotels here (in Abuja) and our strength is more here.

“But we appreciate that a number of the passengers will prefer to go to Lagos but we just don’t have the facilities available to us in Lagos. We will just ask them to bear with us for two weeks.”

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