May 26, 2020

Panama to repatriate 700 Germans stranded by COVID-19 on humanitarian flights



Some 700 German tourists will be repatriated from Panama this week on humanitarian flights, official sources told EFE on Tuesday, when 31 Panamanians from that European country arrived in the country.

A Lufthansa plane landed this afternoon at Tocumen International Airport from Frankfurt with 31 Panamanians on board, confirmed sources from the air terminal, the country’s main terminal and which has been closed since last Sunday, when a suspension of international flights came into effect for 30 days.

These Panamanians, who arrived in Frankfurt to board the flight from Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany themselves, were screened in Tocumen, and all must keep a mandatory quarantine of 14 days, said the official source.

The Foreign Ministry of Panama said in a statement that there were “diplomatic efforts with Germany” and the other European countries where these Panamanians were located, who “had to circumvent the strict measures and airport restrictions adopted” in Europe “to face the current pandemic global”.

The same Lufthansa plane will take part of the 700 Germans stranded in the country to Germany as a result of the international crisis of COVID-19, while the rest will leave throughout the week, the sources said.

“Since the beginning of this month to date, more than 37,000 Panamanians have successfully returned to the country,” said Foreign Minister Alejandro Ferrer on Tuesday, who thanked the cooperation Panama is receiving from many countries in the world.

He spoke of the arduous efforts made last weekend that allowed “reestablishing” the air connection for the repatriation of “409 Argentine citizens” who were stranded in Tocumen due to the “suspension of flights” dictated by the Argentine authorities.

“We inform that this Monday, March 23, we will operate three humanitarian flights to Argentina, to transport hundreds of Argentine citizens back to their country,” Panamanian Copa Airlines reported.

Panama has closed borders, suspended classes and non-essential commercial activity, and established a 12-hour nocturnal curfew as part of measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, which on Monday left 6 dead and 345 confirmed infections in the country.

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