Foreign citizens are being evacuated from Nigeria because they are more familiar with the health systems in their countries, says Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Reports have stated that countries including the US, the UK, Israel and member States of the European Union have started evacuating their nationals from Nigeria amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the international airports in the country are closed to stop further importation of the virus, emergency flights such as those for evacuation are permitted by the Federal Government.
The minister, on Friday, while briefing the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, said the evacuation regardless, a large number of foreigners were still in Nigeria without any plan of leaving.
He said, “In the case of foreigners being evacuated; this is a case where people are more familiar with the health systems in their various countries and so prefer to go to the various countries so that in the event that they might have to be confined, they will be in more familiar surroundings and will also have access to medical practitioners they are familiar with.
“(A) large number (of them) are still in the country as well as their Ambassadors and Heads of Missions and other staff and (they) have no plans of leaving.”
Nigeria has over 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus and four attendant deaths while over 20 of the cases have been discharged.