FG Evacuates 269 Stranded Nigerians from India

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•As Agip, JV partners donate 70-bed isolation centre to Delta State
•NCDC reports 501 new cases, takes tally to 15,682, discharges 5,101, deaths 407

Adedayo Akinwale and Emmanuel Addeh in Abuja

The federal government has evacuated 269 Nigerians, who were hitherto stranded in India.
The evacuees, who arrived at 2am on Saturday after a few hours delay were tested before departing India to ascertain their Covid-19 status.

This is happening at a time the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its Joint Venture (JV) partners, Saturday, revved up the fight against the covid-19 pandemic with the donation of a 70-bed isolation centre to the Delta State government.

Other companies that supported the oil giant in setting up the temporary medical structure in Asaba, the state capital, included the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Oando Oil Limited.
Also yesterday, NCDC reported 501 new cases taking the tally to 15,682, 5,101 discharges and 407 deaths. Lagos recorded 195, FCT-50, Kano-42, Kaduna-27, Edo-26, Oyo-22, Imo-21, Gombe-17, Benue-12, Enugu-12, Delta-11, Anambra-11, Ebonyi-10, Nasarawa-9, Ogun-9, Bauchi-8, Kebbi-4, Akwa Ibom-3, Jigawa-3, Katsina-3, Yobe-2, Borno-2, Kwara-1 and Ondo-1.

However, on the Nigerian evacuees from India, although their Covid-19 results came back negative, as soon as they arrived, they were immediately placed on compulsory 14 days self-isolation.
The chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa tweeted this on Saturday on her verified tweeter handle.

She tweeted: “269 Stranded Nigerians in India landed in Nigeria: 103 in Lagos, 166 in Abuja today, Saturday 13th June 2020, about 2am, after a few hours of delay. All evacuees now on compulsory 14 days self-isolation according to the new protocol.”

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, inaugurated the medical facility, witnessed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr. Mele Kyari and representative of the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of NAOC, Mr. Lorenzo Fiorillo.

Fiorillo noted that the medical centre was part of the oil and gas industry intervention implemented in various states across Nigeria in response to the outbreak of the pandemic.
The company emphasised that the project was aimed at providing the critical infrastructure to stem the spread of covid-19 within Delta State and environs.

The centre consists of isolation blocks with a capacity of 70 beds and separate sections for male and female, both confirmed and unconfirmed cases, featuring also, a block for the medical personnel expected to attend to patients.

Others facilities at the centre include a lounge/waiting rooms, pharmacy, CCTV room, X-ray room, side laboratory, power generating set, amongst others.
The company stated that its management along with its joint partners in the oil industry had been actively collaborating with the government in response to the pandemic, having realised that defeating the scourge at this critical period would require the concerted, collective and sustained effort of all stakeholders.

Meanwhile, in Edo State, the government has announced two new deaths resulting from coronavirus complications and the discharge of 16 more patients, who have tested negative to the virus and cleared from the state’s isolation centres.

The state also recorded 28 new cases of the virus with 13 confirmed at the Irrua Specialist Hospital (ISTH) laboratory and 15 at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) laboratory.
With the new figures, Edo has now recorded a total of 27 COVID-19 related deaths, 130 discharged persons, 1741 line-listed contacts, 4217 suspected cases and 518 confirmed cases.

Governor Godwin Obaseki, who disclosed this in a statement, reassured that the state government would continue to intensify efforts aimed at curtailing the spread of the virus and ensuring the health and safety of Edo people.
The governor, therefore, urged residents to be cautious and abide by all health and safety protocols to protect all citizens, especially the elderly, noting that the aged are the most endangered by the pandemic.