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USA, UK repatriate citizens

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United States of America (USA) ambassador to Malawi Robert Scott has said his country’s department of state has no greater priority than the safety and security of its citizens overseas. He said this at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) on Friday during the sendoff of American citizens who have voluntarily left Malawi due to what they call extraordinary circumstances surrounding the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, every day, all over the world,” Scott said at the event which also saw off 17 Britons. According to US Public Affairs Officer, Douglas Johnston the American Embassy in Malawi arranged for a special commercial flight for American citizens who voluntarily wished to be repatriated to the US and citizens of other nations in coordination with other Diplomatic Missions accredited to Malawi.

“The flight carried 143 passengers, including 88 Americans. It departed on Friday April 24, 2020 from the KIA in Lilongwe at 16:40. The flight flew to Dulles International Airport in Washington DC via Addis Ababa and Dublin,” Johnston said yesterday. He said passengers on the flight were checked by Ministry of Health (MOH) officials for symptoms of Covid-19 on arrival at KIA before going through formal security and immigration checks to board the flight.

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Johnston then disclosed that the department of state has repatriated, or helped to repatriate, over 65,653 U.S. citizens from over 12 countries across the globe.

He said it is an unprecedented effort to bring Americans home from across the globe, including those from remote locations and destinations with strict quarantine orders and travel restrictions. The Embassy has since expressed gratitude to officials at KIA, the Malawi Immigration Department, the Malawi Police Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health for support and all the work that has gone into making the flight possible.

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