Ten Eastern Cape farmers and nine officials of the Agrarian and Land Reform Department that travelled to Germany have been released from quarantine in East London. They had tested negative for the coronavirus.

They were put in a guest house for 14 days upon returning from training on farming and food security.

Sinovuyo Dzukuma says the situation was difficult.

“Our fear was contracting it, being infected on the way to Germany. It was a scary experience; it’s good to know we are here.”

Iris Mtshabe says she cried almost every day.

“I was crying almost every day. I would wake up at midnight and call all of them and pray because I can’t deal with this virus; I’m a breadwinner at home.”

Eastern Cape Agriculture MEC Nomakhosazana Meth says she’s relieved that 10 farmers and nine officials have been released from quarantine in East London. Meth says she is delighted to have them back.

“The fact that they are home safe, it assures us that when they get to the communities; when they get to their businesses; they will be able to start implementing. They will be able to share what they have learned to other farmers.”

South Africans repatriated from Germany

Another group of approximately 16 South Africans that were stranded in Frankfurt, Germany, are expected to return home. They will be quarantined for 14 days when they get to South Africa in accordance to regulations put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) says it will be bringing in more South Africans stuck abroad using chartered flights.

“To date, our Missions and the Command Centre in Pretoria have registered a total of 2 313 South Africans stranded abroad due to the outbreak of the COVID 19 virus, which led to many countries closing their borders. Of these, 726 are students, 600 people are workers, 492 are tourists, and 495 haven’t disclosed,” the department said in a statement on Friday.

In the video below, a plane to repatriate German nationals leaves South Africa:

France to repatriate its citizens

The French embassy in South Africa has confirmed that 250 of its citizens will be repatriated next week.

The French citizens had been stranded due the lockdown aimed at slowing down the spread of COVID-19.

The French embassy says flights are being organised through a partnership of the local authorities and the Dutch government.