M'sians in Iran, India to come home, those in Italy must wait

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 21 Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians in Iran and India will be brought back to Malaysia, while those in Italy will have to wait as the Italian Civil Aviation Authority (Enac) has rescinded the landing permit for the airplane to land to bring them home, says the Foreign Ministry.

Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar (pic) said that the repatriation in Iran will involve 55 people, 46 of whom are Malaysians.

He said in the spirit of Asean cooperation, Malaysia agreed to accommodate eight Singaporeans and one Indonesian on the trip from Iran.

"They are expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday (March 22) at 6.10am on a specially chartered AirAsia flight that left Tehran at 11.45am this morning (March 21).

"The flight carries 15 flight crew members and also eight officers, consisting of five Health Ministry officers, two Foreign Ministry officers, and one National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) officer," he said during a Facebook live press conference Saturday (March 21).

Also at the press conference was Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

Kamarudin added that as of 12.15pm Saturday (March 21), 1,519 Malaysians were still stranded in India.

He said following Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein's discussion with MIC president Tan Sri S. A. Vigneswaran and, through a consensus reached with AirAsia, they had decided that 1,116 Malaysians in India would be brought back home soon.

"Their return is expected to use six AirAsia A320 airplanes that have been specially chartered. All six airplanes will bring Malaysians back through Chennai and Trichy.

"I would also like to inform that all the costs for these flights, amounting to RM1.05mil, is paid fully by MIC," he said.

Kamarudin added that the ministry was also working closely with the Transport Ministry and Malaysia Airports Bhd, as well as cooperating with Malaysia Airlines (MAS), to coordinate flights to repatriate stranded Malaysians in Chennai and Mumbai.

"To ensure that this is a success, the Malaysian High Commission in New Delhi is working to obtain the landing approval for two MAS flights from the Indian government," he said.

Meanwhile, on the repatriation of Malaysians from Italy, Kamarudin said the initial plan was to get 82 Malaysians registered with the Malaysian embassy in Rome home.

They had been expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (March 23) at 6.10am.

However, Kamarudin said the ministry was informed by its embassy in Rome that the Enac had rescinded landing approvals for all airlines.

"Currently, Wisma Putra is in the process of negotiating with the Italian government to give us special approval to let us continue with our repatriation efforts from Italy as soon as possible," he said.

Kamarudin noted that the repatriated Malaysians will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine period at the designated public training institutes that had been identified.

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Covid-19 , repatriation , India , Italy , Iran , Foreign Ministry


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