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Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the State Department has brought home more than 9,000 Americans stranded in 28 countries around the globe, the department said Tuesday.
From the teachers living in Wuhan, China — the city where the pandemic was first reported — to elderly Americans stuck in Brazil following a cruise, the State Department said it has “has never before undertaken an evacuation operation of such geographic breadth, scale and complexity.”
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“As of today, we have repatriated more than 9,000 Americans from 28 countries,” the State Department said in a statement. “Our teams, working around-the-clock in Washington and overseas, will bring home thousands more in the coming days, from every region of the world.”
The statement continued: “The department has never before undertaken an evacuation operation of such geographic breadth, scale, and complexity. We are using all the tools at our disposal to overcome logistical and diplomatic challenges and bring Americans home from hard-to-reach areas and cities hardest-hit by the virus.”
The U.S. has warned Americans against any non-essential travel abroad amid the pandemic, but thousands of Americans were trapped abroad as nations around the globe shut borders and took other measures to slow the spread of the fast-moving contagion.
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Earlier this month, the State Department chartered nine flights in quick succession to bring home more than 1,000 Americans in the North African nation after the country closed its borders.
“We will continue to take decisive action to inform and safeguard U.S. citizens overseas, protect the homeland, advance the Administration’s commitment to building global health security capacity for this and future outbreaks, and reduce the impact for U.S. companies and supply chains overseas,” the State Department said.