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In a message to Americans in Nigeria on Monday, the U.S. government said evacuation flights have been canceled so that Nigeria’s citizens can return home after an outbreak of the coronavirus.
Alli Gallite met with the owner of an adoption agency in Boulder that uses her, and said she has been in contact with representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital, for more than a week. She said embassy officials had made it clear that she and her husband, both with U.S. passports, could board evacuation flights, but their daughter could not. The situation is made even more tense by the travel ban imposed by Washington on Nigerians in February.
Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority said emergency and essential flights were exempt from the ban, which began on Monday. Nigeria’s international flight ban came a day after Africa’s busiest airport in Johannesburg prevented foreigners from disembarking. Somalia has lifted its travel ban on stranded citizens who can come home, but not those with US passports.
Sudan has also sealed off all seaports, land crossings and airports, Sudanese Minister of Transport and Communications Mohamed Abdirahman al-Shabaab said in a press statement. Nigeria also plans to suspend passenger services until then, starting with the country’s main railway line from the capital Nairobi to the port city of Port Moresby.
Travellers from countries affected by the coronavirus have been restricted and in some cases banned from visiting countries in Africa. Schools have been closed, hundreds of international flights cancelled and travellers in countries affected by the virus have faced restrictions.
One Twitter user noted that Western countries would act quickly to impose travel sanctions on travelers if the outbreak originated in Africa. In one of the steps many countries have taken in response to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Nigeria has suspended international air traffic, requiring special flight evacuations, Ahram Online reported. The Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the country’s national airline, announced that all flights to and from Egypt would be suspended from Thursday to stop the spread of the virus.
The Council has called on the State Department to provide a so-called humanitarian parole that allows children like Nike to travel without visas and then have their cases closed in the United States. In an e-mail Monday, the director of public affairs for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said his office was in contact with Gallite and was “in contact” with the U.S. consulate in Lagos to process the adoption application. The consulate only checked again last week, but we have not yet received an update.
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For the past two months, Amara Onyebuchi has been thinking only about how to bring her children to Nigeria. Canadian citizens aged 12, 13 and 15 got to know their roots after spending some time in Nigeria when the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in mid-March. When she and her husband tried to arrange their early flight home, international commercial flights had closed Lagos airport.
Since then, attempts to get a plane back to Canada have been hit – and missed, but it has been hit and missed.
Five Nigerians are reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 in the southern city of Guangzhou this week. Although many African students and other migrants were eager to leave China at the start of the outbreak, many others chose to stay and seek their opportunities with the Chinese health authorities, which are best placed to deal with the outbreak. But even though the worst of the coronavirus is now behind us, the authorities fear an increase in imported cases, particularly from Nigeria and South Africa.
According to state media, the man broke the quarantine and visited a restaurant where he infected the owner, who then passed the virus to his eight-year-old daughter and then to her.
Authorities in the southern French city of Nice have confirmed the death of a woman recently returned from Milan. The man tested positive after returning from a trip to Italy, Israel’s Health Ministry confirmed, saying he was the second of two Israeli passengers who tested positive last week. Two of them were quarantined after traveling on a virus-infected cruise ship, and both were quarantined in Israel after traveling on it.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 34 infections have so far been confirmed with a total of 388 people.
The latest case was reported on Friday, while the first case identified on Thursday was confirmed in the southern city of Tilburg. The Italian, who had arrived in Nigeria from Milan on the evening of February 24, had no symptoms upon landing, according to authorities. The country’s health minister said Nigeria’s first confirmed case had not been detected at the airport and had travelled to Lagos before falling ill and being taken to hospital.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesmen played down reports that Africans were being singled out, but said the government was paying close attention to stopping the second wave and urged foreign nationals to follow the instructions of local authorities. Authorities are now working to meet and monitor those who were on the run, and have also identified people who have met and visited places in Lagos, a city of 20 million people.