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Third repatriation flight evacuates 148 Thai nationals from Maldives

Fathmath Shaahunaz
17 May 2020, MVT 10:52
Thai nationals check in at Velana International Airport for their repatriation flight on May 17, 2020. PHOTO/ROYAL THAI CONSULATE
Fathmath Shaahunaz
17 May 2020, MVT 10:52

A third repatriation flight departed early Sunday evacuating 148 Thai nationals who were stranded in Maldives, amid the global travel restrictions implemented due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Organised jointly by the Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka and the Royal Thai Consulate in Maldives, this was the third flight under the repatriation mission to return Thai nationals, who requested to do so at the Embassy, to return to their home country.

A total of 334 Thai citizens have been repatriated under this operation to date.

“The Royal Thai Embassy in Colombo and the Honorary Consulate of Thailand in Maldives are grateful to the supports provided by all Maldivian agencies concerned, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Health Protection Agency, Immigration, and Police, in this repatriation mission", said Chulamanee Chartsuwan, the Ambassador of Thailand to Sri Lanka and Maldives.

“The Consulate including my staff and I are very happy to have been able to return almost all of the Thai citizens who had so far requested for our help", added Ahmed Ali, the Thai Honorary Consul in Maldives.

The fourth and final repatriation flight is to be held next week. All Thai nationals in Maldives and Sri Lanka that wish to return to Thailand are to register for repatriation at the Consulate and Embassy by May 17, 2020.

The first two repatriation flights were held April 16 and May 4, evacuating 55 and 131 Thai nationals respectively from Maldives.

Several foreign citizens, including tourists and expatriate workers, were stranded in the island nation when the government stopped issuing on-arrival-visas and closed its borders on March 27, in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

A number of special flights have been scheduled since, to undertake the repatriation work of returning foreign nationals to their home countries. Authorities are also working with foreign governments to bring back Maldivians stranded overseas due to the pandemic.

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