South Africans repatriated from Italy, rest of Europe – Dirco

South Africans repatriated from Italy, rest of Europe – Dirco

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation on Saturday brought back a group of 80 South Africans from Rome.

OR Tambo SAA - AFP

Italy, along with Spain, is the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, with a death toll of over 20,000.


The group of South Africans will spend at least next 14 days in various quarantine sites around Gauteng.


The department’s Clayson Monyela says the process of repatriation is tougher due to widespread travel restrictions.


"The department wishes to assure all South Africans stranded abroad that it is doing everything within its powers, to facilitate their return back home.

“Our efforts are being constrained by regulations introduced to limit the movement of people globally.  Many countries across the world have instituted lockdowns to curb the spread of Covid-19.”


Despite the travel restrictions, the department has brought back South Africans from various countries including Brazil, the United States, the United Kingdom and Nigeria.


Two South African Airways (SAA) flights also departed for Frankfurt in Germany on Saturday.


The flight is expected to bring back some 305 South Africans stranded in various European countries.


"We deeply empathise with all who are still stranded abroad including in Peru, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries,” says Monyela.


“We would like to make an appeal for everyone to remain patient, as we explore options on how to bring them back home.”

Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said on Saturday that the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA)  has facilitated the evacuation and repatriation of nearly 14 000 people since the start of April.


80% of SA coronavirus cases are mild, says Mkhize

This comes as comes as the country experienced its biggest single jump in confirmed cases on Saturday. Mkhize announced during an online press briefing that the country has 3,034 confirmed cases, which is a jump of 251 from the 2,783 announced on Friday evening.

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