Covid-19: German envoy thanks UAE as hundreds are repatriated  03/29/2020 23:01:00  4  Anjana Sankar /Dubai

494 passengers departed from Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah airports on three flights.

German Ambassador to the UAE, Peter Fischer, has heaped praises on the UAE government for its assistance in repatriating stranded German nationals. "We are very grateful to the UAE authorities for the close cooperation we had in organising three flights and allowing our citizens to go back home," Fischer told Khaleej Times."It was a learning experience together. If we have to face a similar situation in the future, we can again do it effectively," he said.

A total 494 passengers, most of whom are German nationals, departed from Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah airports on three flights on March 27 and 28. "One flight was from Al Maktoum International Airport and the other two were from Ras Al Khaimah. Most of them were German tourists who were on holiday in the UAE. There were also 15 passengers who were stranded in transit plus some senior citizens and special cases," said the envoy.

Fischer said Germany has begun an unprecedented repatriation initiative that was "never done before" to bring back Germans from across the world. "We have already brought back a total of 170,000 Germans home who could not travel because of flight restrictions. And the numbers will rise in the coming days."He said the German government has allocated 50 million Euros for the repatriation of citizens who are affected by the coronavirus.There are about 15,000 Germans living in the UAE. The envoy said most of them will continue to stay in the country. "By and large, we feel that the situation is well looked after here. We are following up with the German citizens who tested positive for Covid-19 and they are getting professional treatment at hospitals."Speaking about the cooperation between Germany and the UAE, the ambassador said the two governments have agreed on the need to share resources and know-how in tackling the coronavirus pandemic."We fully believe that this is the time to deepen our international cooperation rather than closing the borders and focusing on our own nations. We are all in it together," concluded the envoy.

Anjana Sankar

Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.

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