A Nigerian woman on Wednesday gave birth to a baby mid-air on the repatriation flight from the United Arab Emirates, The PUNCH has learnt.
Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa revealed this to our correspondent.
She said the woman was delivered of a baby boy and both son and mother were doing well at a hospital in Dubai.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had said 265 Nigerians would arrive in Lagos from Dubai on Wednesday as part of efforts to bring Nigerians willing to come back into the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in the process of evacuating Nigerians from abroad and in accordance with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control guidelines, the evacuees will undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine in a monitored environment.
“In this regard, Emirates Airlines is scheduled to evacuate the first batch of 265 Nigerians from Dubai, United Arab Emirates and they will arrive at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, 6th May 2020 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos,” Onyeama had said in a statement through the ministry’s spokesperson, Ferdinand Nwonye.
But a source close to the airline informed our correspondent that the flight left Dubai for Lagos at 10 am and all the passengers were tested and found to be COVID-19-free.
According to the source, a woman, however, gave birth an hour into the about eight hours trip and the pilots had to return the plane to Dubai to disembark the mother and the newborn.
Efforts to reach the minister proved abortive but when contacted, the NIDCOM chair said, “A Nigerian lady, one of the stranded Nigerian travellers returning from Dubai, has been delivered of a baby boy. She was delivered onboard which resulted in the plane returning back to Dubai after take off. She is currently being admitted at a hospital in Dubai.
“The Nigerian Ambassador in Dubai, Amb. Mohammed Rimi and staff of the Embassy are in touch with mother and child who are in good condition.”