The United States Mission in Nigeria has announced the commencement of evacuation of its citizens from Nigeria.
This is happening after Germany, Israel, and France evacuated their nationals following the rising cases of coronavirus disease in the country.
The Embassy confirmed the development Monday night on its official Twitter handle, @US Mission Nigeria.
It said multiple emergency flights departing from Lagos and Abuja had been confirmed for this week.
The mission asked Americans booked for the flight not to come to the airport until they had been contacted by officials.
The Twitter post read, “The US Consulate in Lagos has confirmed multiple emergency flights for this week departing from Lagos and Abuja. Please do not come to the airport until we have contacted you directly. Please shelter in place and await further information.”
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has extended federal guidelines on social distancing until April 30 after a top health official warned that between 100,000 and 200,000 people could die from coronavirus in the United States.
The US has 139,000 confirmed infections, more than any other country in the world.
Worldwide, the total number of infections recorded since the beginning of the outbreak reached more than 770,000. Some 160,000 people have recovered globally while nearly 37,000 have died.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the COVID-19 Regulations 2020, declaring coronavirus a dangerous infectious disease.
In a statement on Monday night in Abuja, the Presidency said Buhari acted in exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and “all other powers enabling him in that behalf”.
The statement, which was signed by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, added, “The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as restriction/cessation of movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.
“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, the exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.”