558 Malaysians stranded in India arrive home, more from Cambodia set to land tonight

Malaysians stranded in India is pictured gathering at the New Delhi airport March 24, 2020. — Bernama pic
Malaysians stranded in India is pictured gathering at the New Delhi airport March 24, 2020. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Five hundred and fifty-eight Malaysians who were stranded in India after the republic shut its airspace and borders to contain the Covid-19 outbreak have safely arrived home today, deputy foreign minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said.

In a statement issued today, he said that Malaysians and Cambodians who are stranded in each other’s nation would also be repatriated.

“The Foreign Ministry (Wisma Putra) wishes to inform that 558 Malaysians have arrived safely from Chennai and Tiruchirappalli (Trichy) via three (3) AirAsia special aircrafts. A total of 186 Malaysians arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA 2) from Chennai at 5.50am by AK-013 flight.

“Meanwhile, another 372 people arrived from Trichy via AK-22 and AK-28 flights at 5am and 6.40am. The three AirAsia flights ferrying Malaysians home were fully funded by the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC),” he said.

Kamarudin said that MIC has also helped Putrajaya fly home 1,119 Malaysians stranded in India, which included three infants, and stressed that those who are back must now undergo a 14-day self-isolation, as mandated by the Ministry of Health.

He said to date, 1,679 Malaysians are still stranded in India, and the ministry is continuing its efforts to bring them home as soon as possible.

“I would like to inform that as a result of the close cooperation of Wisma Putra with the Cambodian government, Malaysians and Cambodians stranded in both countries will be able to return home today. For Malaysians stranded in Cambodia, 109 people will return home, and are expected to arrive on our soil at 9pm tonight via Malaysia Airlines MH763.

“Meanwhile, for Cambodians stranded in Malaysia, six people will return home, and are expected to arrive in Cambodia at 5.30pm today, via (Malaysia Airlines) MH762,” he said.

Kamarudin also thanked the Cambodian government for its continuous cooperation with Malaysia in the effort.

He also thanked T7 Global Berhad for sponsoring the trips as its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative.

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