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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Malaysians still stranded in Egypt, Maldives, India to be repatriated - Wisma Putra

Malaysiakini

CORONAVIRUS | The government is in the process of repatriating citizens stranded overseas by travel restrictions, including from Maldives, India and Egypt.
Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Kamarudin Jaffar (photo) said as of today, there are 3,618 Malaysians stranded in 58 countries.
“This number continues to rise as many countries begin to enforce border controls to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, including the cancellation of international flights using commercial airlines.
“I would like to stress that stranded means Malaysian citizens who happen to be overseas for work, family or vacation purposes or any other such purposes, and possess flight tickets back to Malaysia, who have had their flights cancelled and have no other alternatives to return to Malaysia due to travel bans caused by Covid-19,” Kamarudin said in his speech at an event today.
The Brunei government, he said, has agreed to charter a special Malaysia Airlines flight to bring home 86 Malaysians from Cairo, and they are expected to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 11.25am tomorrow.
After taking into account the unique bilateral relationship between Malaysia and Brunei, the government has also agreed to transport 142 Brunei citizens who are stranded in Malaysia using the same special chartered flight, Kamarudin said.
Efforts to repatriate another 18 Malaysians stranded in the Maldives have also been successful with the efforts of Weststar Aviation, he said.
“I would like to thank Weststar Aviation for its willingness to help bring back this group of Malaysians where the company will bear the full cost of the flight,” he said.
Kamarudin also revealed that currently, the country with the highest number of stranded Malaysians is India, with 1,988 Malaysians.
Of the 1,988 Malaysians, 916 is in Chennai, 523 is in Trichy, 328 in New Delhi, 173 in Amritsar and 48 people are in Mumbai.
MIC has since agreed to fund 12 flights to bring home Malaysians stranded in New Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Trichy and Amritsar, Kamarudin said.
“The Malaysian government would like to express its gratitude to MIC for agreeing to facilitate the process of repatriating Malaysians stranded overseas.
“We hope such close cooperation will continue to ensure Malaysians stranded overseas can safely return home,” he said.
This repatriation process is expected to take place in stages as soon as possible once the booking and landing approvals are managed, he said.
Kamarudin once again urged Malaysians stranded overseas not to panic and to contact Malaysian consulates or embassies in the countries they are in.
“With the cooperation of Malaysian representatives overseas, Wisma Putra will try to resolve the problems faced by Malaysians overseas,” Kamarudin said.
Many countries have imposed travel restrictions in light of the worsening Covid-19 pandemic.
Malaysia has restricted travel to and from several regions in six countries, namely China, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Denmark.- Mkini

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