The Federal Government has said that Nigerians infected by the coronavirus in the diaspora would not be evacuated to the country but would receive treatment in their country of residence.
Noting that their repatriation would be dangerous to their host community, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the positive cases could not wait till they get to Nigeria before commencing treatment.
The spokesman of the Ministry, Ferdinand Nwonye, revealed this in response to questions on the planned evacuation of over 2,000 Nigerians abroad, some of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.
According to reports, 72 Nigerians in Guangzhou and 10 others in the United Kingdom tested positive for the virus.
Those who tested positive would be receiving treatment in China. Are they going to wait till they are evacuated, did they know when the evacuation would take place?
The best option is that they would submit themselves to the local authorities and receive treatment because the evacuation would be by countries and in batches. Staying there without treatment is even dangerous to the host community.
It was, however, learnt that the Guangzhou Municipal authorities had informed the Nigerian Consulate about the development and Chinese authorities are tracing 107 contacts of the positive cases in the city.
Many Nigerians, it was gathered, are awaiting evacuation in Guangzhou as they travelled to the city on business and have exhausted their funds after they were put in isolation in hotels by the government.
Meanwhile, some of them have complained that they were kept in luxury hotels and made to spend excessively.
The compulsory quarantine, it was also learnt, followed a decision by the Guangdong Province to put all foreign visitors on two-week isolation on arrival in Guangzhou.
In the meantime, other Nigerians who had been living in the city without valid visas and permits were also agitating for evacuation by the Federal Government as it would be difficult for them to leave the Asian powerhouse.