Amid the coronavirus pandemic, United States Mission has informed Americans leaving Nigeria that hospitals back home are “overwhelmed”,
It said two evacuation flights scheduled to depart Lagos on Friday were canceled due to flight clearance issues in some West African states. This saw scores of Americans getting stranded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport on Friday as the emergency flights never showed up.
In a statement on its website on Sunday, the US said its nationals in Nigeria willing to travel back to the States would be responsible for their medical bills.
The statement read in part, “Two flights that were scheduled to depart Lagos on Friday were canceled due to flight clearance issues in other West African states. The U.S. government immediately took action to redress the situation and the flights have been rescheduled.
“Potential evacuees (should) bear in mind the following considerations in determining if an evacuation flight is in the best interest of you and your family:
“Healthcare systems in many localities in the United States are currently overwhelmed. If you need to seek medical care while in the United States, you will be responsible for all costs not covered by your insurance;
“There are shortages of many basic supplies across the United States, including toilet paper and canned and frozen foods. Many stores, restaurants, and businesses are closed;
“At this time, Nigerian airports are closed to all commercial international flights. If you evacuate to the United States, it is unlikely you will be able to return to Nigeria until the Nigerian government reopens the airports and commercial flights resume.”
It should be remembered that the Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, said foreigners in Nigeria were leaving the country to use health facilities in their countries.
According to the World Health Organisation statistics, there are over 250,000 coronavirus cases and above 70,000 resultant deaths in the US while Nigeria has recorded over 200 cases with five attendant deaths