NIGERIA’S foreign ministry has told its citizens stranded in China because they have been diagnosed as being coronavirus positive that they cannot be evacuated and will as such have to remain there to receive medical treatment.
Earlier this month, Nigeria’s plans evacuate her citizens from China suffered a serious setback after 72 citizens in the city of Guangzhou tested coronavirus positive meaning that they could not be airlifted immediately. Facing unfair discrimination in the hands of the Chinese authorities, one of the conditions of being evacuated is that every applicants must be tested for the virus and come out positive before they are allowed to leave.
However, after testing, 72 of the Nigerians awaiting evacuation in Guangzhou city in Guangdong Province proved to be positive. Not wanting to risk spreading the virus, Nigeria’s foreign ministry has decided that as a result, they would stay in China and receive treatment in their country of residence.
Foreign affairs spokesman Ferdinand Nwonye, said: “Those who tested positive would be receiving treatment in China. 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.”
Many Nigerians awaiting evacuation in Guangzhou travelled to the city on business and have exhausted their funds after they were put in quarantine in hotels by the government. Some of them complained that they were kept in luxury hotels and made to pay exorbitant charges.
This compulsory quarantine followed a decision by the Guangdong Province to put all foreign visitors from abroad on two-week isolation on arrival in Guangzhou. Reported racial hatred and maltreatment of Nigerians in Guangzhou began when five Nigerians who allegedly tested positive for Covid-19 broke quarantine and frequented an African restaurant where they infected its owner, who then passed the virus on to her eight-year-old daughter.
With the animosity growing, Nigerians who had been living in the city without valid visas and permits have asked to be evacuated as it would be difficult for them to leave China otherwise. In the UK, there are also a lot of Nigerians wanting evacuation but so far about 10 of them have tested positive, so will not be allowed to leave.