Two Nigerians temporarily living in Switzerland have indicated that they desire to be evacuated to Nigeria amid the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world.
Amb. Baba Madugu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Switzerland disclosed this on Tuesday in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent in that country.
It will be recalled that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently directed all its missions abroad to compile lists of willing nationals who wished to return home to Nigeria.
That was sequel to the request by Nigerians stranded abroad in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO of the Nigeria in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), who was quoted in a statement signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head, Media and Public Relations Unit of the commission in Abuja.
According to Dabiri-Erewa, the interested Nigerians are advised to inform the missions in the various countries they are in, who will then collate and coordinate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The NIDCOM chairman urged Nigerians stranded abroad willing to return home to key into this Federal Government gesture by providing their information to the mission in their respective host countries.
She said that while embassies in several countries were also on lockdown, those interested could also go online and fill a form provided on the commission’s website: Form101 – Nigerians in Diaspora Commission
Madugu further told NAN that a female on internship in Zurich and a male, who had embarked on a brief visit to Geneva had contacted the embassy and expressed the willingness to be evacuated back home following the government’s lockdown order which has seen Swiss residents staying at home since March 16.
According to him, most Nigerians in the country are residents and do not fall under the category of those stranded in a foreign land.
“That explains their unwillingness to be evacuated home as they are not in need of such measure,” he said.
He also told NAN that there had been no reported cases of Nigerians who had tested positive for the coronavirus in Switzerland.
The envoy appealed to the diaspora community to strictly adhere to the safety guidelines put in place by the Swiss authorities.
NAN reports that Switzerland, recently recorded between 500 and 700 new cases, a development which raised the number of infections in the country to more than 25,000 with the number of deaths topping 1,000.
These make the small Alpine nation one of the countries most affected by the pandemic to date.
In response to the development, the Swiss government had extended the lockdown to April 26 and is expected on Thursday to announce new plans to ease restrictions introduced to counter the spread of the virus that originated in China and spread across the globe. (NAN)