COVID19: Yemen eases repatriation protocols to bring back citizens struck abroad
Amid efforts to tackle the impact of COVID-19, Yemen has intensified its actions to repatriate its citizens who got stranded in other countries in the wake of pandemic restrictions. As per a report by the state news agency Saba, Yemen’s Coronavirus National Emergency Committee has amended its repatriation protocols, making the procedures easier to bring back the citizens who are stuck abroad.
While earlier the protocols required polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on returning citizens, it will be replaced by thermal screening at airports in accordance with the latest provisions. The announcement was made by the committee on Saturday during a virtual session, which was presided over by Prime Minister Dr.Ma’een Abdulmalik Saeed.
The committee announced that more than 12,000 Yemeni citizens have been repatriated so far from countries such as India, Egypt, the UAE, Ethiopia, and Jordon in view of the continuous efforts to combat the pandemic crisis. On Sunday, Yemeni citizens stuck in Pakistan were repatriated to their homes.
Upon arriving at the airport, passengers were checked with body heat cameras and their baggage were disinfected by the emergency team to ensure public safety. According to the news agency report, the government will continue its efforts to work with the stranded citizens and repatriate them back home.
In March, international flights were cancelled by the Yemeni government in a bid to control the spread of Coronavirus. With flights cancelled, thousands of Yemenis got stuck abroad and appealed to the government to arrange for rescue flights.Meanwhile, amid a humanitarian crisis, the Yemeni government is ensuring several measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
Recently, it imposed a partial curfew in Aden and other major cities under its control as the number of infected cases continue to rise. Furthermore, the government has urged international humanitarian organisations and foreign donors to provide financial and medical assistance to battle the pandemic.