Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja and Obinna Odogwu, Awka
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has contracted coronavirus.
Onyeama, who disclosed this on his Twitter handle, @GeoffreyOnyeama, said he tested positive after his fourth test came out yesterday, following a throat irritation.
“Did my fourth COVID-19 test yesterday at the first sign of a throat irritation and unfortunately this time it came back positive.
“That is life! Win some lose some. Heading for isolation in a health facility and praying for the best,” Onyeama said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government, at the weekend, evacuated no fewer than 692 Nigerians from foreign countries.
Those evacuated were 22 persons from France; 212, Cyprus; 324, United States and 134 from Sudan, the minister disclosed on his Twitter handlle.
“@AirFrance conveying 22 Nigerian evacuees from #Paris, has departed for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The flight is expected to arrive Abuja at 14:40 pm local time today, 19th July, 2020. Some of the evacuees are Nigerians in France, Hungary, Romania, Poland, Norway, Germany, Holland, UK and Canada. All passengers tested negative before boarding. So far, a total of 93 Nigerians in Europe have been repatriated in the evacuation exercise coordinated by the Embassy of Nigeria in France, in cooperation with our Missions in #Germany, #Belgium, #Holland and #Hungary,” Onyeama said.
Onyeama disclosed the evacuation of 212 Nigerians from Cyprus was aboard Turkish Airlines which arrived the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 15:05pm on Saturday.
He said some of the evacuees were students in Cyprus, experts and professional footballers in Turkey.
He said the third evacuation flight from the US departed Newark, New Jersey, to Abuja with 324 Nigerians.
The minister added that two more evacuation flights were expected from the US to Abuja and Lagos on July 28 and 31.
Also, the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), yesterday, announced on its Twitter handle, @nidcom_gov, “that 134 Nigerians arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja at about 10am local time via Air Sudan today, Sunday, July 19, 2020. The 134 evacuees tested negative to #coronavirus before departed Khartoum today. All Evacuees will now proceed on 14 days self isolation as mandated by @NCDCgov, @Fmohnigeria and PTF on #COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, anxiety has gripped officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Anambra State command, as five members of the corps have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
A senior officer who pleaded anonymity told Daily Sun that some of the officers tested positive for the dreaded disease.
This development, according to the source, had spread fears among other officers especially those who may have had contact with the carriers of the deadly virus.
The source said: “There is unease right now in the command. Everybody is afraid. We cannot really tell what happened or how it came but our fear is that a good number of our colleagues contracted COVID-19.
“When all the test results come, we will be able to know how many more were affected. We cannot state how many for now. In fact, as I speak with you, some people have started avoiding office.”
The senior officer revealed that all the officers of the command serving in various parts of the state have been directed to come to the command headquarters in Awka for testing.
The idea, according to the source, was to ascertain those who might have contracted the dreaded disease with a view to giving them immediate treatment, and of course, trace those they had contacts with them.
Spokesperson of the command, Pascal Anigbo, said he had not been briefed on the development.
“Personally, I don’t have details of that. I am surprised. It is not a bad thing to do tests but I don’t have details of whether some people tested positive or not,” Anigbo said.