As we enter the sixth week of the lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic ravaging the world, I hope that Nigerians in France and the Principality of Monaco are coping well with the challenges of the current situation.
 We all look forward to the gradual lifting of restrictions on movements and reopening of elementary and high schools from 11th May, 2020, as announced by French President Emmanuel Macron in his national address on 13th April, 2020 to update the country on the government’s efforts to fight the pandemic.
 You will recall that President Muhammadu Buhari similarly also addressed Nigerians on the same day about ongoing measures in our dear country to control the spread of the Coronavirus, including extending the lockdown in some parts of Nigeria and instituting key initiatives to mitigate the socio-economic effects of the pandemic.
  It is reassuring that the governments of our home and host countries, in line with global efforts, remain committed to combating the scourge of Covid-19 and that even as the global search for a vaccine and cure continues, successes are being recorded daily in the treatment and discharge of infected persons in France, Monaco, Nigeria, and in many other countries across the world.
Unfortunately however, Nigeria has lost many of her illustrious citizens at home and in the Diaspora to Covid-19, among whom were the following:
Dr. Alfa Sa’adu
Carol Jamabo
Dr. Kole Abayomi, SAN
Bode Ajanlekoko
Ugochukwu Erondu
Chidinma Olajide
Blessing Offiong
Apostle Caleb Anya
Mrs. Mmaete Greg
Akeem Adagun
Hajia Laila Abubakar Ali
Mrs. Patricia Imobhio
Michael Sonoran Coker
Most recently, Mallam Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari also succumbed to the disease. I wish to seize this moment, on behalf of the staff of the Embassy, to express our heartfelt condolences to those who have lost loved ones to this noxious virus. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.
I assure you of our unwavering commitment to the welfare of Nigerians in France. The embassy will keep you updated through this platform, on all information received regarding the proposed evacuation exercise, and will communicate with those of you who have indicated an interest to return to home, as soon as new details are received from Nigeria.
Meanwhile, do keep safe and maintain a healthy lifestyle within the rules of the confinement imposed by the host authorities, for the safety and wellbeing of all residents.
Dr. Modupe Irele
20th April, 2020