Hello Friends! I hope this post finds you and your families safe, healthy, and hanging in there with regard to the social distancing required to beat the COVID-19 virus. I know this isn't easy -- especially for those of you with young children -- but keep up the fight! We will make it through this together.
I want to follow up with all of you on our recent post on the April 18 repatriation flight that the U.S. Embassy and other embassies here arranged to get our nationals back home. That post generated comments and rumors that are not accurate.
There were a number of American citizens and nationals of other countries who were visiting Eritrea when the COVID-19 crisis broke out. When the Eritrean government suspended commercial air flights (as many other governments have done in an effort to combat the coronavirus), these visitors were unable to leave as planned. So we and other embassies worked together to arrange a special Ethiopian Airlines flight for them to Addis Ababa, where they were able to connect to flights to their home countries.
This is perfectly normal. One of the primary reasons we and others have embassies in other countries is to assist our citizens who are resident in those countries. if they need help The repatriation flight we arranged was one of many in Africa and around the world. In fact, as of April 24, the U.S. Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 67,448 Americans on 716 flights from 124 countries and territories. For more detailed information on these repatriation efforts, please check out Department of State Coronavirus Repatriation Statistics - United States Department of State
The U.S. Embassy remains open, although we (like everyone else) are mostly teleworking from home. If you are an American citizen who needs help, or if you know of American citizens here who need our assistance, please know that our consular section staff continue to work, including limited in-person service, and are ready to serve you. You can send us a Facebook message, visit us at 179 Ala Street، 179 171-9 Street in Asmara, or call us at 291 1 120 004.
I'd like to address another source of inaccurate comments and rumors. Like most other U.S. embassies around the world, Embassy Asmara reduced its staff in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Some of our staff and our family members returned home temporarily. This was in March. There were no Embassy staff members on the April 18 repatriation flight.
I hope this clarifies any rumors or misinformation regarding the repatriation flight or U.S. Embassy Asmara. I send to you all my best regards as we work together to defeat the COVID-19 virus. And to those of you celebrating Ramadan, kul a'am wa intum b'al-khayre!