The Federal Government has released new guidelines for the evacuation of Nigerians who are stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, disclosed this in Abuja during a brief on Monday.

He stated that the new guidelines were collectively designed by various agencies of government including the Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, immigration and security authorities as well as the aviation sector.

The PTF national coordinator said, “There will be a need for Nigerians wanting to come into the country to undergo PCR tests for COVID-19 before they board. These tests need to be valid for at least 14 days. In other words, if the test is done beyond 14 days, it will not be accepted.

“Prior to boarding, they will be required to sign an undertaking that they will follow the necessary precautions that we will apply when they come into the country. These will include:

“They will make themselves available for repeat PCR tests in the country when they arrived within 72 hours. They will be given an appointment card and an address where they will go and have the tests done.

“They will also be required to stay in the point of entry which will be Lagos or Abuja for now because these are the two cities where the flights will be coming in and this is the arrangement we have made with the private sector.

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“They will make arrangement for their own accommodation in these two cities for a period of 14 days. Unlike in the past, we will not be responsible for the transportation or accommodation of Nigerians coming in. They will need to make arrangement for their own alternative to stay in Lagos or Abuja not only for the period of testing but also for the period of self-isolation. But if they wish, they can stay at home, provided they undergo self-isolation at home.

“Their tests must be negative before the flight and when they come in, they will have a repeat test within 72 hours to be sure that they have not developed COVID-19.

“They will then be followed up through a strict process of regularised isolation where they will be contacted every day and monitored for the presence of symptoms that might require them to be taken to treatment centres if they subsequently become positive.”

He remarked that the process will be well ordered to ensure about 1,000 Nigerians are repatriated per week so as to clear the excess of over 4,000 stranded Nigerians in the next four weeks.