KRG repatriates another 228 citizens from Ukraine, Jordan amid COVID-19 crisis
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Late on Thursday night, the Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced the repatriation of another 228 students and other citizens that have been stranded in Ukraine and Jordan due to travel restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The latest mission to return residents of the Kurdistan Region comes as the DFR announced on Thursday that it had also evacuated 201 individuals from the Turkish cities of Ankara and Istanbul to the Kurdistan Region.
The repatriation flights evacuated two groups of Kurdistan Region residents; one on the flight that brought 120 stranded people back from the Jordanian capital of Amman, and the other one evacuated 108 from Ukraine, tweeted the DFR.
"Under the directive of PM @Masrour_Barzani & follow up by Minister @SafeenDizayee, flights today brought 120 students & other Kurdistani nationals safely home from #Amman & 108 from #Ukraine," read a social media post.
Under the directive of PM @Masrour_Barzani & follow up by Minister @SafeenDizayee, flights today brought 120 students & other Kurdistani nationals safely home from #Amman & 108 from #Ukraine. They‘ll follow health measures & undergo quarantine for 14 days. Thanks to all involved! pic.twitter.com/Po0anJAuGF— KRG Dept of Foreign Relations (@KRG_DFR) May 7, 2020
In order to curb any transmission of the highly-contagious disease, the returnees from abroad, “will follow health measures [and] undergo quarantine for 14 days,” added the DFR statement.
The federal Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority's decision to suspend all international passenger flights was first made on March 17 and was planned to last for a week as the government began to take preventive measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus. However, it was extended several times afterward, the latest one expected to end on May 22.
According to the latest figures from the KRG’s health ministry, there have been 391 confirmed cases since the coronavirus outbreak in the Kurdistan Region, including 361 recoveries, and five fatalities.
The coronavirus has infected over 3.8 million people worldwide and killed more than 270,000, according to government-reported data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The actual figures could be dramatically higher due to insufficient testing capabilities or underreporting.
Editing by John J. Catherine