Special mission to repatriate M’sians in India

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein. – Bernama

PUTRAJAYA: The government will embark on a special mission to repatriate Malaysian citizens in India, following concerns over the Covid-19 situation there which is now facing the second wave, says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The repatriation is a collaboration between the Foreign Ministry, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and the Health Ministry involving Malaysian citizens, including home-based staff of various agencies who are in the northern and western India as well as their dependents.

“Specially chartered flights will be used to carry out the repatriation. The flights will depart for New Delhi and Mumbai as soon as all affairs and matters have been sorted out, including flight clearance from the Indian government.

“It is important for me to state that the decision to carry out this mission was done collectively by various agencies. The decision also took into consideration observations and analyses that were carried out by our missions in India, ” said Hishammuddin in a statement.

Malaysian citizens who will be brought home must be tested for Covid-19 before departure and as soon as they arrive here.

They will be quarantined at government-designated stations for 14 days.

Hishammuddin said the exercise would not involve Malaysians in the southern and eastern India as the pandemic there was still under control.

The Foreign Ministry, via its consulate-general in Chennai, would continue to monitor the situation in these regions and make a continuous evaluation to ensure the safety and welfare of Malaysians there were looked after, he added.

Malaysians who are residing in the northern and western India who want to be repatriated are advised to register with the Malaysian High Commission in New Delhi and the consulate-general in Mumbai via e-mail mwdelhi@kln.gov.my and mwmumbai@kln.gov.my the latest by 5pm (Indian time) today.

“This repatriation mission is the government’s continuous commitment and effort in ensuring the safety and well-being of Malaysian citizens abroad are protected.

“Similar missions were carried out during the Covid-19 outbreak last year, involving repatriations from Wuhan (China), Iran and Italy, ” he said.

India’s Covid-19 cases spiked in April to daily record highs and experts warn the country’s worsening health crisis could scuttle efforts to end the global pandemic.

Home to around 1.4 billion people or 18% of the world’s population, India accounted for 46% of new Covid-19 cases globally in the past week, according to the World Health Organisation on Wednesday.

Malaysia has temporarily banned flights from and to India effective April 28 to stop the new Covid-19 variant detected in India from entering the country.

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