15,000 students now safe at home

PETALING JAYA: A total of 15,000 students in higher education institutions (HEI) have returned home.

A Higher Education Ministry official said the movement was expected to end by May 12.

“There is movement in every state except for Sabah, which is expected to begin tomorrow (today).

“There are still many students who are waiting to go home.

“But there are also many who decided at the eleventh hour to stay put on campus, ” said the official yesterday.

Some students chose to stay with their relatives that are closer to their campus than travel home.

Air travel at the moment is only for students travelling to and from Sabah and Sarawak.

“Students’ movement will not interfere with the interstate travel which starts this Thursday as we are following our internal arrangement, ” said another source.

Beginning April 27, varsity students started returning home in phases after being stuck in their hostels for almost six weeks.

Students have to undergo health screenings for body temperature, sore throat, cough, cold and shortness of breath conducted by the Health Ministry and the University Health Centre before they are cleared to travel.

On April 26, Higher Education Minister Datuk Dr Noraini Ahmad announced that university students nationwide would be allowed to return to their homes if they met certain conditions.

The main criteria is that their hometowns must be located in green zones.

The ministry, she said, would provide transportation to take students from the identified centres at their institutions to their destinations.

To date, the Higher Education Ministry had sent home 16,223 students, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Last Friday, 1,507 students were sent home, followed by 4,668 on Saturday and 4,965 on Sunday.

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