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Covid-19: Return of Angolans withheld in Brazil

Sun, 12 Jul 2020 10:41 - Updated Sun, 12 Jul 2020 10:41

Flags of Angola (left) and Brazil

Photo: Arte de Osvaldo Pedro

Luanda - About 250 Angolans stranded in Brazil because of Covid-19 are to return to the country next Thursday, 16th of July, due to an exceptional special flight, to be carried out by the national airline - TAAG - for the first time.

This is the first humanitarian flight of the sort aimed at assisting compatriots in this South American country to return home, a measure spearheaded by the Angolan Multi-sector Commission for the Prevention and Combat of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thus, the Boeing 777-300 should leave Brazil (a country with strong historical connections with Angola) at dawn on the 16th, with predictions of arrival in Luanda, in the afternoon of the same Thursday, bringing students, traders and different professionals, among others.

ANGOP has learnt from aeronautical source that other flights may take place to and from other points, provided they are authorized by the government, in coordination with the authorities of those countries and subject to the availability of Quarantine Centers.

This unprecedented flight to Brazil takes place five months after the onset of the disease in the Chinese city of Wuhan, in December 2019, and after TAAG has already brought back home Angolans stranded in Portugal, Turkey, Russia and China.

Between March to the present date, it also brought bio-safety and hospital equipment from China and South Africa, the latter country, from where it transported, on Thursday (9th) 449 Angolans in difficulties in this southern African country.

So far, according to the Angolan Government, 5,771 Angolan citizens have returned to the country since the closure of borders, of which number 1,470 are from South Africa, 2158 from Portugal, 512 from Brazil and the remaining from other locations.

Among the other countries, according to the minister of State and Head of the Security Sector of the President of the Republic, Pedro Sebastião are Cuba, Russia, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India, Turkey, Republic of Congo and Democratic Republic of Congo.

With the exception of flights on the 17th and 18th of March, all citizens fulfilled institutional quarantine in the Calumbo 1 and 2 centres, and in hotels previously selected by the Commission and were subjected to tests.

Of the total number of returnees, the authorities have informed, 49 cases were imported.