Defence minister says Armed Forces ready to bring back Malaysians stranded in Italy

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob clocks in on his first day as defence minister in Putrajaya March 12, 2020. — Bernama pic
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob clocks in on his first day as defence minister in Putrajaya March 12, 2020. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is ready to mobilise the assets of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) to bring home Malaysians stranded in Italy after the Covid-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic.

Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said MAF was on standby if required for the humanitarian mission and that Mindef was currently waiting for instruction from the government.

“Insya-Allah, we are ready and any action can only be taken when the government decides to bring them home,” he told reporters after chairing his ministry’s first post-Cabinet meeting at Wisma Pertahanan today.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified Covid-19 as a pandemic.

Ismail Sabri said none of the MAF personnel has been tested positive for Covid-19 and it is constantly stepping up preventive measures and cooperating with the Health Ministry on the matter. 

“So far no one from my ministry has been tested positive for Covid-19 and a special committee has been set up to deal with the outbreak. As such, every MAF officer and personnel is urged to take preventive steps following the spread of Covid-19,” he said. 

Ismail Sabri said MAF personnel will continue to be posted locally and overseas while preventive measures against Covid-19 are being stepped up.

“Every MAF officer and personnel will be educated on the preventive measures, irrespective of which ministry, camp or where they are posted,” he said when asked about military personnel involved in overseas missions.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said Mindef was ready to receive orders and suggestions from the Health Ministry to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. — Bernama

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