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Libya starts evacuating citizens from abroad amid virus

Deputy transportation minister announces that Libyans to initially be repatriated from Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt


Libya has decided to evacuate its citizens in Turkey and other countries as a result of flight suspensions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a statement by Deputy Transportation Minister Hisham Abushkiwat, the first plane will depart on May 5 at 7 a.m.

He said the evacuations will be carried out by Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways and planes will land at Misrata Airport located 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of the capital Tripoli.

Abushkiwat said the evacuation process will also begin in Tunisia and Egypt, where most Libyan citizens remain.

Since first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 187 countries and regions, with the US and Europe the hardest-hit areas.

More than 3.5 million cases have been reported worldwide, with the death toll surpassing 251,000 and more than 1.1 million recoveries, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University in the US.

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