AMERICAN officials have warned its citizens in Nigeria currently scrambling to leave for the US against the move saying that hospitals back home are overwhelmed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
At the moment, the US is the country most affected by the coronavirus pandemic with 336,851 affected, of which 9,620 have died. Despite this, last week, when the US embassy in Nigeria chartered a plane to take its citizens back home, there was a huge scramble for places in spite of the fact that Nigeria has only been marginally affected by the crisis with 232 incidences and just five deaths.
Warning against leaving for the US, the American mission in Nigeria, said two evacuation flights scheduled to depart Lagos on Friday were cancelled due to flight clearance issues in some West African states. Also, warning it citizens of what they are likely to face when they get home, the mission said its nationals in Nigeria willing to travel back to the US would be responsible for their medical bills when they arrive there.
A mission spokesman said: “Two flights that were scheduled to depart Lagos on Friday were cancelled due to flight clearance issues in other West African states. The US government immediately took action to redress the situation and the flights have been rescheduled.
“Potential evacuees should bear in mind the following considerations in determining if an evacuation flight is in the best interest of you and your family. Healthcare systems in many localities in the United States are currently overwhelmed and if you need to seek medical care while in the United States, you will be responsible for all costs not covered by your insurance;
“There are shortages of many basic supplies across the United States, including toilet paper and canned and frozen foods and many stores, restaurants, and businesses are closed. At this time, Nigerian airports are closed to all commercial international flights, so if you evacuate to the United States, it is unlikely you will be able to return to Nigeria until the Nigerian government reopens the airports and commercial flights resume.”