Serbia's planes fly people home, but authorities aren't happy to have them back

Serbia's planes fly people home, but authorities aren't happy to have them back

Serbia's planes fly people home, but authorities aren't happy  to have them back Izvor: AFP/Andrej Isaković

Thousands of Serb nationals are coming back from across the globe for different reasons, some after being stuck at the airports or left in the streets, while the authorities in Belgrade blame their return for the spreading of COVID-19 virus infection at home.

Ivica Dacic, Foreign Minister, said on Friday that aircraft would fly twice a day to pick up those still abroad, adding the priorities were students, pregnant women, those who were on medical treatment abroad or a business trip, while the tourists would have to wait.

So far, some people stuck due to the coronavirus pandemic were flown back home, and Dacic said that planes would leave for Cyprus on Friday and pick up people in Thessaloniki on its way back.

Besides, he said, next flight would be for Doha, Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

Media reported that some of those still abroad were in dire conditions at the airports or even in the streets and without information when their country would take care of them.

They were sending upsetting videos from empty places where they were the only people left to wait.

Dacic said that the tourists from Serbia were in all parts of the world, from Peru to Thailand where there were 155 people who, according to him, "didn't contact us earlier, waiting for their holiday to end."

The latest group is reported to be waiting for planes in Malta, supposed to fly in there on Saturday. There are some 300 people ready for evacuation.

However, those people are not particularly welcomed back home.

Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic has said that since March 5, almost 318,000 people entered the country, some of them, according to him, knowing they were infected "and came to Serbia to be treated for free. We will treat them, and we will cure them."

Two days ago, he slammed the opposition's suggestion to allow pensioners above 65 years of age an hour or two of a daily walk, as it was the case in many other countries since some of them needed movements for physical and also their mental health state.

"If you do that, we won't have enough gravesites. All our cemeteries will be small to take all of us if you listen to other people suggestions; I beg of you to listen to your state," Vucic said then.

He added he was glad the people were afraid seeing a temporary quarantine site at the Belgrade Fair facility which shocked many and said he would have to "think about worse than the Fair."

"Someone has to spend 14-21 days, and if that it's not comfortable, I don't care," Vucic said.  

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