A special Iberia flight took off this Wednesday from Santo Domingo with 278 passengers, mostly Spanish, bound for Madrid, on the second flight the company has made since the Dominican Republic closed its borders last week due to the coronavirus.
Between the two flights that Iberia has organized, in contact with the Spanish authorities, almost 600 people who were in the Dominican Republic have been evacuated, a diplomatic source told Efe.
On this Wednesday’s flight, people who had been registered on the consulate list were given a place, among whom people who were in a more precarious position had priority, either because they had illnesses and could not find their medications or because they had no means of subsistence in the Caribbean country.
Parallel to these flights, more than a thousand Spaniards who had contracted tourist packages in the country returned to Spain on flights chartered by the tour operators themselves.
Other tourists returned on flights from other European companies in which there were places available and of which the Spanish Consulate has informed the community through its website and social networks.
The secretary of the Council of Spanish Residents in the country, Antonio Sánchez, told Efe that, among the flights that are leaving Punta Cana for Paris and Zurich, added to a private flight that will take off on Friday from the same tourist center, Most of the Spaniards who were stranded in the Dominican Republic will have left the country and “the situation is under control.”
He also indicated that there are some residents who are trying to return to Spain, despite the fact that the Council has been urged to stay in the Dominican Republic, giving preference to the departure of tourists, who in some cases have found themselves without accommodation after the closure of the hotels where they were staying.
The Dominican Republic closed its borders on Thursday of last week, but has allowed tourists to be evacuated on special flights, which must arrive empty into the country.
The Caribbean country has been in a state of emergency since last Thursday, the Government has decreed the closure of borders and has imposed a curfew from 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., which will be in force until April 3. .
The number of people infected by the coronavirus in the country amounts to 392 and there have been 10 deaths, according to the latest balance presented by the Ministry of Public Health on Wednesday.
In addition to repatriations from the Dominican Republic, Iberia has offered special flights from Dakar, Quito, Buenos Aires and Tokyo.