Evacuations in works for Hongkongers stranded overseas following local man’s death in Peru

The Peruvian city of Cusco, where a Hong Kong man died of COVID-19 last week. Photo via Flickr/Leo Gonzales.
The Peruvian city of Cusco, where a Hong Kong man died of COVID-19 last week. Photo via Flickr/Leo Gonzales.

Hong Kong authorities are reportedly in the process of arranging evacuations for citizens stranded in Morocco and Peru after one Hongkonger perished in the Andean city of Cusco while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

Thirty-seven Hongkongers have found themselves stranded in Morocco after the country imposed travel restrictions related to the global coronavirus outbreak, with government broadcaster RTHK citing unnamed sources as saying the local government is currently working with airlines to arrange flights for the travelers to the SAR.

But while those in Morocco are mostly in two of the countries largest cities, Casablanca and Marrakesh, the more than 80 Hongkongers stranded in Peru are predominantly outside of the capital of Lima, and traveling to the city is complicated by newly imposed curfews.

Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam, who said he had spoken to some of those stranded in Peru, said the government had been in contact with them about leaving, but that no timeline was currently in place.

He also suggested that Hong Kong authorities look into cooperating with neighboring countries that have already chartered flights for their citizens out of Peru.

The news of the planned evacuations comes after a 64-year-old Hong Kong man died of COVID-19 while traveling in the South American country.

The man was not confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus until after his death, The Standard reports.

Meanwhile, health authorities this afternoon announced 41 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the city to 682.

According to the SCMP, officials said the burgeoning caseload is putting a serious strain on Hong Kong’s hospitals, with isolation beds in danger of running out, and dozens of confirmed patients still waiting to be admitted to hospitals.

 

For more local COVID-19 coverage, check out Coconuts HK.

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