Yemen’s internationally recognized government will begin the first evacuation flights for citizens who have been stranded abroad since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, state news agency SABA reported.
The first evacuation flight will be sent to Jordan on Thursday, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed with Yemen’s Supreme National Emergency Committee for COVID-19 heard.
This came after the committee approved the protocol for evacuating citizens stranded abroad, which includes procedures and timetables for scheduling the return of citizens to Yemen, and organizing specific health and precautionary controls and procedures, the news agency said.
The authorities are tasked with the rapid implementation of precautionary measures in preparation for the returning citizens.
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Yemenia flights will be sent to Egypt, Jordan and India in the first stage of the evacuation flights. Yemeni nationals will be tested prior to travel and will receive a health certificate from an accredited medical center.
After returning to Yemen, citizens will be sent to health centers for check-ups, treatment and to keep track of their data. Returning nationals will also be required to self-quarantine at home.
Stranded nationals will be informed of flight times immediately after the necessary permits with the countries in which they are in are completed, the committee said.
The Minister of Public Health and head of the committee, Dr Nasser Baoum, and Deputy Prime Minister Salem Al-Khanbashi presented a report on the development of the situation in Aden. The report discussed the establishment of a medical unit for the treatment and reception of cases of coronavirus infection.
The committee also reviewed the report submitted by the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, Hussein Mansour, on those stranded in Saudi Arabia and discussed measures for their return. Mansour said discussions were in place with Saudi official to schedule their return.
In Yemen, scores of COVID-19 cases have been recorded across the country, but the UN warns that the virus is spreading largely undetected. Hundreds of people in the interim capital Aden have died in the past week with symptoms of what appears to be the coronavirus, local health officials said.
The officials fear the situation is only going to get worse as Yemen has little capacity to treat those suspected of having the virus.