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Lai Mohammed: Nigerians in Chinese town hit by coronavirus unwilling to return home

Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed, minister of information, says the federal government is in touch with 16 Nigerians living in Wuhan, China.

Coronavirus disease broke out in that part of the Asian country, and it has continued to spread globally.

Speaking in Abuja on Friday, the minister said the 16 citizens have not shown interest in returning to Nigeria.

Lai added that the federal government cannot stop Nigerians from travelling to China.

The federal government had issued a travel advisory asking citizens to reconsider travelling to China.

“We know it is a bit difficult to ban people from travelling,” Lai said.

“Another thing is that this is not a basis to stigmatise people who come from there.

“Even if we have Nigerians who are there, unless they indicate interest that they want to come home, we can’t force them.

“I know we have Nigerians in Wuhan; our Embassy in China has confirmed that we have about 16 Nigerians in Wuhan and they are in touch with them.

“They have, however, not indicated their interest to come home. They will, however, contact our embassy if they like to come home.

“We need a lot of public enlightenment. We need to let people who travel know that there is the need for absolute transparency and absolute honesty when they are filling out forms.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a global emergency on coronavirus, and the death toll has risen to 213 with more than 9,709 cases confirmed in mainland China.

Cases of the disease have been confirmed in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, US and Vietnam.

The United Kingdom confirmed its first two cases on Friday.


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