The evacuated India citizens inside the aircraft set to depart Nigeria. Photo credit: @india_nigeria/Twitter

The Indian government on Sunday commenced the evacuation of its citizens stranded in Nigeria as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to a tweet by the High Commission of India in Abuja, the repatriation exercise was conducted in the early hours of Sunday with the airlifting of 312 Indian nationals.

The Commission revealed that the aircraft conveying the evacuees departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

It noted that the flight, operated by a Nigerian airline Air Peace, was the first indigenous airline to fly directly to India.

The Indian authorities appreciated the Nigerian government for its support in ensuring that the first phase of the evacuation was successful.

The evacuated India citizens at the airport set to depart Nigeria. Photo credit: @india_nigeria/Twitter

“Repatriation of Indian nationals from Nigeria began today with the Lagos-Kochi Air Peace flight. With 312 passengers, it is also the first-ever Nigerian airline to fly directly to India. Thank @MEAIndia @MoCA_GoI @PIBHomeAffairs @NigeriaGov and team @india_nigeria for support,” the Commission’s tweet read.

Repatriation of Indian nationals from Nigeria began today with the Lagos-Kochi Air Peace flight. With 312 passengers, it is also the first ever Nigerian airline to fly directly to India.
Thank @MEAIndia @MoCA_GoI @PIBHomeAffairs @NigeriaGov and team @india_nigeria for support. pic.twitter.com/kg3NKdcE9V

— India in Nigeria (As well as Benin, Chad & ECOWAS) (@india_nigeria) May 31, 2020

The Federal Government of Nigeria has also made successful efforts in evacuating many of its citizens from various countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon and China.

The most recent is the repatriation of 268 Nigerians from China.

The evacuees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Saturday and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said they would be quarantined for 14 days, as stipulated by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

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