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COVID-19: US evacuates 997 Americans from Nigeria in 3 days

The United States Mission in Nigeria has helped 997 Americans return home amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Mission said from April 6-8, three U.S. Consulate-organized chartered flights operated by Delta Air Lines and Ethiopian Airlines repatriated 850 American citizens from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.

It noted that the repatriation flights were made possible with cooperation the Ministry of Aviation, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Lagos State Government.

United States Consul General Claire Pierangelo, disclosed that the evacuation has been three weeks in the making.

The Mission said from April 6-8, three U.S. Consulate-organized chartered flights operated by Delta Air Lines and Ethiopian Airlines repatriated 850 American citizens from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos.

This is in addition to the 147 citizens who departed Abuja on April 4.

It noted that the repatriation flights were made possible with cooperation the Ministry of Aviation, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Lagos State Government.

“We had more than 50 people working on this on a daily basis to make sure that we can find the Americans, get the planes, secure flight clearances for the planes to land here and also ensure safe passage of the Americans traveling to the airport since the city is on lockdown.

“It was an enormous effort and I am incredibly proud of my team. We appreciate all the help from our Nigerian partners. We couldn’t have done this without them”, Pierangelo said.

She noted that U.S. Mission remains committed to working closely with the Government of Nigeria and the various health authorities to keep everyone healthy and safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement advised Americans who remain in Nigeria seeking COVID-19 information to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov and check the U.S. Mission Nigeria website and social media handles for messages and updates.

As of April 8, the Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 50,339 Americans from 94 countries since January 29, 2020.

The U.S., this week, announced a fresh commitment of $7million to Nigeria in health and humanitarian assistance.

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