Friday, October 30, 2020
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ARGENTINA | 23-04-2020 14:51

89% of stranded Argentines have been repatriated, says Foreign Ministry

Between March 17 and April 16, 168,140 Argentines or Argentine residents returned home from overseas, according to Foreign Ministry.

The Foreign Ministry says that close to 90 percent of Argentines stranded overseas by the coronavirus pandemic have been repatriated to date.

According to a report from the Ministry, led by Felipe Solá, between March 17 and April 16, a total of 168,140 Argentines or Argentine residents re-entered the country.

This figure means that as of April 20, 88.7 percent of Argentinians and residents who want to return home have already done so, leaving 11.3 percent remaining.

The majority, 63,485 people came through air terminals, mostly at the Ezeiza and Palomar airports (others open in the first few days are also included in the tally), while 104,655 Argentines or residents entered via land or water.

Of those who returned by air, 59,852 people did so between March 17 and 31. In contrast, between April 1 and 16, only 3,633 people returned via flights.

Of those who returned by river and land, 95,445 entered between March 17 and 31, with 9,210 between April 1 and 17.

The report estimated that half of those who entered before April "had left on short tourist trips and [then] decided to return," adding that "many did so in cars and via long-distance buses from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay and Bolivia."

The Foreign Ministry said that it was continuing to assist Argentines abroad who wish to return and have not yet managed to do so, guaranteeing "accommodation, food, healthcare and all other basic needs."

Officials also confirmed a number of repatriation flights scheduled for the coming days, including flights from Punta Cana (Aerolineas Argentinas, April 23), Havana (Aerolínea Copa, TBC); three from Guayaquil (Air Force Hercules aircraft, 2 x 24 April, April 26) and another one including stops in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama (Wingo airline, TBC) and Cancún (LATAM, April 25).

‘Encoronados’

Stories of Argentines stranded overseas have circulated regularly on social networks, with some proving particularly adaptable to their surroundings as they wait to return home.

Tali Akuka and Andrey Madera were stranded in the city of Cuenca, 450 kilometres from Ecuador's capital, in the middle of their vacation.

This Argentine-Israeli couple have been living in a hotel, La Casa del Aguila, since March 11, 2020, where the owner offered them a place to stay in view of the growing number of coronavirus infections in Ecuador's largest cities.

Together with another stranded Argentine, Sergio Torregrosa, they created Encoronados, an online programme that broadcasts live on Facebook six days a week, Monday to Saturday. The show  spreads news about local gastronomy ventures that have sprung up in Ecuador during the pandemic.

The idea is simple: to help publicise which restaurants, bakeries and greengrocers are operating by home delivery, helping to support local businesses that are struggling in the wake of the pandemic.

"We also set up a collective financing platform to be able to continue maintaining the project in the face of a lack of government aid," Tali said.

Encoronados, filmed in their hotel, debuted on March 25 and today has more than 2,000 views a show. It is broadcast Monday to Saturday, from 2pm to 3pm, on Facebook Live and is carried out in different facilities of the hotel where they live.

-TIMES/PERFIL/NA

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