A Nigerian woman on board a plane that was repatriating another 264 of her compatriots from the United Arab Emirates gave birth mid-air en route to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Wednesday.
Local media reported that 265 were supposed to have touched down by 6 pm local time but the pregnant woman entered into labor just an hour into the eight-hour flight.
The plane was redirected back to Dubai.
The Punch newspaper quoted the chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa who reportedly confirmed that:
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 to Dubai after take off. She is currently being admitted at a hospital in Dubai.
The mother and child are reportedly in good health while efforts are being made to re-enplane those who are willing and able to go back home.
Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had earlier announced that the country was welcoming Nigerians outside the country who wished to return as a result of fears over the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Nigerians are still expected to wear facemasks and are barred from “non-essential” inter-state travel even as the federal government looks to ease restrictions put in place because of COVID-19.
President Muhammadu Buhari explained in a speech last week that the federal government and state authorities are working “hard on how to balance the need to protect health while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practices while keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances.”
Three major states, Ogun, Lagos and Abuja were placed under lockdown for over a month.
The country currently has 3,145 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with over 530 recoveries and 103 deaths.