A plane conveying Nigerian returnees from the United Arab Emirates, UAE, has made a U-turn after a pregnant woman reportedly went into labour.
The development in the chartered aircraft was confirmed by the Chairperson of the Nigerian in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on Tuesday
It was learnt that the plane, which was scheduled to arrive at 3 pm Nigerian time would now arrive at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport by 7 pm.
The first batch of returnees was expected in the country today After weeks of delay, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to reports, the Emirates flight is expected to be the first of at least two other flights scheduled to evacuate Nigerians in the next few days.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, arrangements are being made with Ethiopian airlines for a flight from New York to Abuja next Monday, while discussions are ongoing with British Airways to airlift 300 Nigerians from London this Friday, May 8.
On Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that over 4,000 Nigerians are waiting to be evacuated back home from different parts of the world.
The Ministry also stated that the returnees, upon their arrival, are expected to be quarantined for 14 days in select hotels.
The quarantine, it was gathered, is required to ensure the coronavirus-status of every returnee is ascertained.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs further stated that it has made arrangements for hotel accommodations in Lagos and Abuja, which will be used to quarantine the returning nationals.
The Ministry also said that the hotels have been inspected by the “Port Health Services, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and IPC.
In the meantime, Onyeama, said that Nigeria’s efforts to evacuate citizens from abroad has been hampered by several obstacles, including the ability to secure quarantine facilities for the returnees on their arrival.