Germany says it in the process of working out the logistics to repatriate between 7000 and 9000 of its citizens from South Africa. 47 German tourists are under quarantine in the country after one of them tested positive for COVID-19.
South African Airways, which has suspended all operations during the 21-day lockdown period, will provide the flights for the repatriation.
South Africa has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Africa with 1280.
German ambassador to South Africa Martin Schäfer says, “We do have a strong partner in SAA, who is willing to help us with the repatriation flights and we rely now on the assistance and the help of the South African government to make sure that our people can make it to the airport and can be flown out. We are in discussions with the SA government. Of course, the lockdown poses some difficulties for us . People who have symptoms; people who are positive; people who are sick with the corona will have to stay in SA and will have to be treated here.”
US citizens currently in South Africa needing to get back home can apply for assistance to be repatriated through the embassy website.
Americans can fill out an information form detailing their current location and personal details.
The embassy says there is no timeline for the evacuation and cannot say when their citizens will be flown out of South Africa.
Many tourists from America who’ve found themselves stuck due to lockdown imposed by the coronavirus outbreak have already indicated their wish to be repatriated.
The embassy is not prepared at this stage to reveal the exact number. It says it is still collating details and working on the logistics of the evacuation.
The journey is likely to be a commercial or charted flight out of Johannesburg and or Cape Town.
The embassy says they are looking at having stops in Durban. The citizens, once repatriated, will be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in the USA.
There are other foreign nationals, other those of the US and Germany, who are also stuck in the country.
In the video below, stranded tourists laud SA government efforts in the COVID-19 fight:
Meanwhile, the number of cases in Germany has risen to 57,298 and 455people have died.
In the US, President Donald Trump extended his stay-at-home guidelines until the end of April, dropping a hotly criticized plan to get the economy up and running by mid-April after a top medical adviser said more than 100,000 Americans could die from the outbreak.
In SA, President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Sunday, officially released the 114 South Africans who were quarantined at the Ranch Resort, near Polokwane, in Limpopo, after being evacuated from the Chinese City of Wuhan where coronavirus originated.
In the video below, South Africans repatriated from Wuhan express their gratitude:
The president has reiterated that all of them have tested negative for COVID-19 and are displaying no symptoms of the coronavirus. They will now be re-united with their families.
In the video below, President Ramphosa thanks the Ranch Resort employees for taking care of the repatriates:
Below is a Live Tracking of the cases, death toll and other information, updated daily:
-additional reporting by Reuters