Foreign Affairs Minister Gustavo Meza-Cuadra has announced that around 3,000 Peruvian nationals have been repatriated
after the suspension of international flights to the South American nation as a precautionary measure to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
According to the high-ranking official, the decision to close all borders and airports all over the country
not only affected Peruvians abroad, but foreign nationals that were stranded in Peru.
In this sense, the cabinet member explained the arrival of Peruvian citizens at Jorge Chavez International Airport —which is already closed
— was authorized until Saturday.
The flights are being directed to Air Group No 8, a military base belonging to the Armed Forces.
"In other words, the possibility of repatriating other Peruvians is becoming increasingly difficult, but in a very short period, during that time interval, with the effort of all our consulates and the support of some foreign governments, which came to pick up their citizens, we managed to repatriate around 3,000 compatriots who were stranded around the world," he added.
Minister Meza-Cuadra noted that those who remain abroad will be assisted as well, because that is the Government's commitment and —to that end— some funds have been allocated to reinforce consulates so as to resolve the emergency situation that affects all of us.
According to the government official, although flights are currently cancelled, there will be some exceptions to allow the return of fellow citizens. In fact, the diplomat said a small group of young people arrived on Sunday. They were working in the United States during their summer vacation.
Regarding this group, in addition to other Peruvians arriving from now on, they will be quarantined to rule out they are infected with the virus.
"This isolation will no longer be at home
, but in specifically designated areas, because health is the priority and we have to abide by these tough and difficult measures, taken by the Government in a timely fashion," he concluded.