Hundreds of US nationals repatriated from S. Africa



CAPE TOWN, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of U.S. nationals were repatriated from South Africa on Thursday, with more to fly home the next day, the U.S. embassy said.

"This afternoon, two repatriation flights for citizens of the United States departed South Africa," it said in a statement.

The two afternoon flights took off from Cape Town International Airport and the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, according to the statement.

"We anticipate a third flight departing Cape Town tomorrow morning. Together, these flights, all bound for Washington D.C., will bring over 900 Americans from South Africa back to the United States," the embassy said.

In the repatriation operation, all passengers were screened for COVID-19 symptoms by South African health authorities before boarding, and all airport, airline, and U.S. diplomatic mission personnel followed all recommended protocols for personal protection and distancing, it added.

Once in the United States, all passengers will need to self-quarantine for 14 days, according to the embassy.

U.S. Ambassador to South Africa Lana Marks said the U.S. Department of State "has repatriated over 52,000 citizens, on over 519 flights, from over 98 countries."