Covid-19: Malaysians, MM2H participants stranded in Thailand happy to return home

A passenger has his temperature checked due to the Covid-19 outbreak as he arrives at Phuket airport March 9, 2020. — Reuters pic
A passenger has his temperature checked due to the Covid-19 outbreak as he arrives at Phuket airport March 9, 2020. — Reuters pic

BANGKOK, May 26 — A mixture of relief and happiness fills the air at Suvarnabhumi Airport here as a group of Malaysians and their foreign spouses as well as Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) participants are flying home to reunite with their families and friends.

A total of 155 passengers, including two infants who were stranded in Thailand due to Covid-19 pandemic are travelling home on a chartered flight operated by Thai Smile Airways.

Private jet pilot, Thomas Brown, 63, who stranded in Bangkok since the Thai government announced ban on all international flights to curb Covid-19 outbreak said he missed his family in Malaysia.

The Canadian who is an MM2H participant, travelled to Bangkok for a working trip on March 10.

“For the past three months, I stayed at a hotel in Bangkok. My every day routine was to video call my spouse in Malaysia, get some exercise to stay safe and healthy so I can go back to my spouse.

“Malaysia is my home. I miss home and my family in Malaysia I am looking forward to reunite with my family,” he told Bernama.

Brown expressed his gratitude to the Malaysian Embassy in Bangkok, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Immigration Department for facilitating his return to Malaysia.

Earlier, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said MM2H participants stranded abroad had been allowed to return to the country since May 14, following the easing of movement restrictions.

Meanwhile, Gan Shiaw Mei, 32, said she was excited to be travelling home for the first time with her three-month-old baby girl.

Accompanied by her mother and husband, the engineer based in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat) said she decided to return home for good.

“We are just so happy we can now finally go home.

“First thing after completing the 14-day quarantine, I must eat my favourite Malaysian food — nasi lemak and hokkien mee,” she said.

Meanwhile, a student at British International School, Phuket (BISP), known as Sam, 18, from Kuala Lumpur and his friends endured tiring journey to return home.

The group — 10 students from BISP travelled from Phuket at 4.30 am (local time) yesterday and reached Bangkok at 8 pm.

They continue their journey home by taking the chartered flight to Kuala Lumpur International Airport and will be undergoing a 14-day quarantine before being allowed to go home. 

“Although it is a long journey, we are feeling positive as we are going back to our family,” he said.

Thailand has imposed a ban on incoming international passenger flights from April 4 and it has been extended until the end of June, in bid to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama

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