The Federal Government has said that Nigerians infected by the coronavirus would not be evacuated to the country, adding that they would receive treatment in their country of residence.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the positive cases could not wait till they were repatriated home before starting treatment, noting that this would be dangerous to their host community.
The MFA spokesman, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, said this on Friday in response to questions from our correspondent in Abuja on the planned evacuation of over 2,000 Nigerians abroad, some of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.
The PUNCH had reported that 72 Nigerians in Guangzhou and 10 others in the United Kingdom tested positive for the virus.
Responding to queries on the process for the evacuation, Nwonye stated, “Those who tested positive would be receiving treatment in China. Are they going to wait till they are evacuated, did they know when the evacuation would take place?
“The best option is that they would submit themselves to the local authorities and receive treatment because the evacuation would be by countries and in batches. Staying there without treatment is even dangerous to the host community.
Meanwhile, the number of Nigerians who tested positive for the coronavirus in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, China, has risen to 74.
Our correspondent gathered on Saturday that two more persons returned positive on Friday, increasing the number to 74 from the 72 reported on Wednesday.
It was learnt that the Guangzhou Municipal authorities had informed the Nigerian Consulate about the latest development.
The PUNCH was also informed that the Chinese authorities are tracing 107 contacts of the positive cases in Guangzhou.
Findings indicate that many Nigerians awaiting evacuation in Guangzhou travelled to the city on business and have exhausted their funds after they were put in quarantine in hotels by the government.
Some of them complained that they were kept in luxury hotels and made to pay exorbitant charges.
The compulsory quarantine followed a decision by the Guangdong Province to put all foreign visitors from abroad on two-week isolation on arrival in Guangzhou.
It was gathered that other Nigerians who had been living in the city without valid visas and permits were also agitating for evacuation by the Federal Government as it would be difficult for them to leave China otherwise.
Findings show that the reported racial hatred and maltreatment of Nigerians in Guangzhou began when five Nigerians who allegedly tested positive for COVID-19 broke quarantine and frequented an African restaurant where they infected its owner, who then passed the virus on to her eight-year-old daughter.