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Coronavirus: 378 Europeans evacuated from Nigeria by Air France

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No fewer than 260 European citizens have been evacuated from Nigeria through Air France.

About 118 European citizens from other West African countries reportedly joined them, making a total of 378 European Citizens that were evacuated through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

According to reports, the flight had come in from Cotonou, Benin Republic for the operation after it received a special letter of approval from the Ministry of Aviation.

The letter of approval, Punch reports shows that there would be similar repatriation flights dated April 2 and April 9, 2020.

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Air France explained that the European citizens from the West Coast were being evacuated because of the projection that COVID-19 spread in Africa might spike in the coming days.

It stated,

“Due to COVID-19, Air France is doing all it can to ensure French and European nationals currently abroad can return home.

“Air France teams all over the world are fully mobilised and are doing all they can to assist French and European nationals at this difficult time. Air France is working together with the French and international authorities to adapt its flight schedule in real-time in line with the evolving situation and the new restrictions imposed on airlines.”

Recall that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had issued a circular last week, saying that all international airports should remain closed to international flights till further notice.

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However, the General Manager, Public Relations of the NCAA, Sam Adurogboye explained that the flight had gone through because it was approved by the Minister. According to him, the flight was captured under essential operations and as such, it obtained special clearance.

Adurogboye’s words:

“They obtained special clearance for the flight. During this period, every flight that comes will be under special clearance.

“We are in a period of emergency and in section 36 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act, the minister has power to approve or clear flights in emergency. the NCAA will then process the clearance after the approval.”

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JUST IN: NDDC headquarters shuts down over COVID-19 scare

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The management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has shut down the commission’s corporate headquarters following COVID-19 scare.

The coronavirus scare, it was gathered, was triggered by the death of a member of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC, Mr Ibanga Etang.

Etang, who until his death, was the Acting Executive Director of Finance and Administration reportedly died at about 2 am on Thursday at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), Port Harcourt after a brief illness.

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An internal memo signed for the management by Silas Anyanwu directed informed all employees that the headquarters of the commission would be shut down for two weeks with immediate effect.

“Consequently, all activities of the commission including ongoing matters are hereby shut down,” the memo said.

Details shortly…

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VSF supports Edo IDPs with COVID-19 palliatives

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The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has supported the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and vulnerable Nigerians in Edo State with palliatives to help cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VSF Team was led by the Chairperson of the VSF Task Force on COVID-19, Mrs. Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji who was in the company of the Edo State government that was ably represented by the wife of the Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki.

This comes as the country battles over 8700 cases of the respiratory illness that has affected economies across the globe, including that of Nigeria.

MyNigeria.com reports that the VSF palliative was in the form of 200 bags set that contained 10kg of rice, 10kg of beans, 10kg of garri, 4kg of vegetable oil and 2 small packets of salt per bag.

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During the course of delivery of the items, additional bags of foodstuff were added to the initial amount by compassionate officials of VSF to the amazement IDPs Camp Uhogua.

Speaking on behalf of the management team of the camp, Coordinator of International Christian Centre (ICCM) and Coordinator of the Camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho said the VSF is Godsent for coming at this very critical time.

He said the lockdown caused by Covid-19 has impacted negatively on the welfare of the residents of the Camp.

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The visit to the IDPs Camp Uhogua was a response to an “SOS correspondence they recently received from CSED (Community Sport and Educational Development)” and the VSF intends to visit most states in Nigeria.

According to reports, the current cost of preparing a meal for the four thousand five hundred and seventy-five residents of the Camp is about three hundred thousand naira.

National Coordinator of CSED, Mr Edema Fuludu said that they were forced to reach out to VSF and other bodies having seen the plight of the people, though the CSED work is mainly sport/educational intervention.

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“We cannot afford to walk on by when the children/youths we work with are in dire needs of food and basic daily necessities,” Mr Fuludu said.

Mr Fuludu urged public-spirited individuals, corporate organisations and NGOs to continue to provide palliatives to the IDPs and other needy members of the society, as this is the only way they (vulnerable Nigerians) can survive the hunger and social isolation that has been induced by Covid-19.

He noted that “every effort put in touching the vulnerable in the society is the rent we pay to God for allowing us to live on planet earth.”

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Govt can’t risk reopening schools now – education minister

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No date yet for schools resumption – Education minister

The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba,  said that the Federal Ministry of Education would not risk reopening schools across the country, until all preventive measures had been put in place.

He noted that various dates of resumption being circulated in some quarters were false, adding that the government would consider introducing afternoon classes to ease rowdiness.

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Nwajiuba said,

“We want to say that the announcement that we are reopening all schools on June 8 did not emanate from us. That is not true; until we are sure that these children can go to school, return safely and not bring home with them this COVID-19 material.

“So we are not taking that risk yet. We are going to prepare as much as possible within the guidance that we are offered, working in conjunction with the World Health Organisation, before we reopen schools.”

 

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