The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has explained that the reason foreigners are being evacuated from Nigeria is because they are more familiar with the health systems in their various countries.
The explanation was in response to a question by a journalist at a press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Friday.
The Journalist had asked if the evacuations were as a result of Nigeria’s poor healthcare system, to which the minister said it wasn’t necessarily due to that reason.
He said that many countries’ diplomatic personnel were in the country and did not have any plans to leave.
He stated, “It is basically a case where people are more familiar with the health system in their various countries and so prefer to go to the various countries so in the event that they might have to be confined, they would be in more familiar surroundings and they would also have access to medical practitioners and facilities that they are used to.
“So, that is really the reason. And you will find that a large number of those countries evacuating citizens, that their heads of mission and ambassadors and other staff are still here in Nigeria and there are no plans of leaving.
The Federal Government had closed the nation’s international airport to halt the importation of the virus, but permitted emergency flights like those for evacuation.
Countries including the US, the UK, Israel and member States of the European Union have started evacuating their citizens from Nigeria.
As of April 3rd, 2020, there are 210 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria.