Nigeria has 12 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus Covid-19 as of Friday, with the number expected to continue rising, according to Flying Doctors Nigeria (FDN), an air ambulance and remote site medevac operation that serves the oil and gas sector.

FDN is receiving a flood of emails enquiring if and how it can continue to evacuate Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients during the pandemic, and has to explain how new travel bans, travel restrictions and policy changes are complicating individual case evaluation.

“We can assist with evacuating suspected and confirmed cases of coronavirus but, as they are matters of national interest, we implore all suspected and confirmed Covid-19 patients to co-operate with the health authorities of the countries they are in, so as to help curb the spread globally,” according to an FDN statement issued today.

Founded by Dr Olamide Orekunrin in 2011, FDN's client base include, among others, Eni and subsidiary Saipem, Shell, Hercules Offshore Seven Energy, Nestoil, Sinopec, OKLNG, Sahara Energy and the Oando Group.

Nigeria has equipped testing centres and 22 Emergency Operations Centres with 100 beds able to handle coronavirus patients, and with more beds dedicated as the virus spreads, according to FDN.

Passenger arrivals in Nigeria are requested to self-quarantine for 14 days and report to the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) if they feel unwell or develop symptoms.

The NCDC claims it now has “five facilities within its molecular laboratory network with capacity to test for Covid-19, sufficiently equipped with reagents and supplies for testing".

Nigeria will from 21 March place in effect a total ban, initially for four months, on passengers arriving from 13 countries including China, Italy, Iran, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the US, the UK, the Netherlands and Switzerland.