KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 -- A special flight will depart for Dhaka, Bangladesh tomorrow to bring back 270 of 367 Malaysians in the country, following the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the Bangladesh government had agreed to grant special approval for the aircraft to land and depart from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka.
He said Malaysians in Bangladesh comprised 219 students, 55 staff at the Malaysia Field Hospital in Cox Bazar, 73 individuals who are staying and working in the country including their families, and 20 government officials at the Malaysian High Commission and their families.
“Of the total, 270 individuals have agreed to be brought back to Malaysia soon, however, the government has asked seven government officials to stay on and continue to work at the Malaysian high commission office in Bangladesh.
"On behalf of the government, I am very grateful that they are willing to remain and continue with their duty there for the country," he said in a press conference broadcast live on his Facebook account.
Also present was MIC president Senator Tan Sri S A Vigneswaran.
Hishammuddin said they would be brought home on board Airbus 332 belonging to Malaysia Airlines (MAS), fully sponsored by MIC.
The party had previously sponsored six special flights to bring stranded Malaysians home from India.
Hishammuddin said to date, over 1,000 Malaysians who were stranded in Uzbekistan, Egypt, Maldives, Nigeria, Thailand, Japan, Cambodia and a few other countries, had been brought back, while in Iran, 46 Malaysians were repatriated with the help of the National Security Council (MKN).
He added Wisma Putra, as at this morning, had repatriated 696 Malaysians stranded in India with MIC and AirAsia's cooperation.
“Insya-Allah (God willing), more will be brought back from India soon,” he said while expressing his gratitude towards MIC and MAS.
On Malaysians in Italy, Hishammuddin said Wisma Putra and Malaysian Representative in the country were currently in discussion with the Italian government for special landing approval to be given to flight from Malaysia and pave the way for the repatriation process.
He also gave his assurance that the government would do all it could to expedite the process of bringing home all stranded Malaysians.
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