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Maldivians stranded in Bangladesh, Nepal to be repatriated

Mariyam Malsa
19 April 2020, MVT 10:48
Maldivian flight chartered to repatriate Maldivians stranded in Trivandram, India. PHOTO: MALDIVIAN
Mariyam Malsa
19 April 2020, MVT 10:48

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Saturday, announced that a Bangladeshi military aircraft would evacuate 51 Maldivians from Bangladesh and 18 from Nepal on April 20.

The Maldivian citizens were left stranded after both countries implemented border closures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The foreign ministry disclosed that the Bangladeshi government has already commenced efforts to bring Maldivians residing across the country to Dhaka for the flight. The students in Nepal are also scheduled to travel to the Bangladeshi capital.

The majority of Maldivians in Bangladesh are medical students based in Chittagong and Dhaka while 17 of those in Nepal are licensed doctors undergoing further study for specialisation.

All repatriated individuals will be placed under mandatory quarantine for a 14-day period.

In addition to the Maldivian citizens, the military aircraft will also transport a ten-member team of medical professionals from Bangladesh.

The evacuation was finalised after Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid held discussions with his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen concerning the situation of stranded Maldivans via telephone on two occasions.

The national airline, Maldivian, has already facilitated the repatriation of 100 Maldivians stranded in neighboring Colombo, Sri Lanka as well as 188 from Cochin, India on April 6 and April 7 respectively. A further 197 Maldivians stranded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were evacuated on April 8.

Maldives now has 35 confirmed and 19 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 16 recoveries.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 2.3 million people and claimed over 159,000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 591,200 people have recovered.

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