Nearly 150 United States citizens left Nicaragua on Wednesday on an emergency flight authorized by the embassy in Managua in the face of a sharp increase in infections and deaths by COVID-19, according to official reports.
The United States Ambassador to Managua, Kevin Sullivan celebrated that 147 citizens “could return home” aboard a direct commercial flight from Managua to Miami.
“The Embassy strongly encourages US citizens interested in returning to the United States to consider this option,” the diplomatic headquarters said in an official press release.
Sullivan reported that a second trip was scheduled for Thursday morning and invited U.S. citizens “interested in the flight” to book their ticket and report to the airport.
“Do not come to the airport if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, fever, or body aches,” the Embassy said. “You will not be allowed to board and may endanger your fellow passengers or airport staff.”
Given the unusual circumstances of the flight, travelers were warned that there may be delays and were directed to be patient, and bring water and food because businesses at the airport “are not open.”
Dozens of U.S. citizens filled the Augusto Sandino airport in Managua to leave the country, a day after health authorities reported a sharp increase in infections.
The Central American country registers 17 deaths and 254 cases, of which 199 are recovered.
But independent organizations say that sicknesses and deaths from COVID-19 could be greater than those presented by official figures because there were no containment measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
In April, France, Germany and other European countries facilitated the return of their citizens from Nicaragua.