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Students enroute to Maldives from Belarus, UK

30 May 2020, MVT 18:49
People enjoy the good weather by the lake, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, on the outskirts of Minsk, Belarus, on May 1, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS
30 May 2020, MVT 18:49

Total of 48 Maldivian students from Belarus arrived on Friday to London, United Kingdom, enroute to being repatriated home.

The students from Belarus, joined by a further 23 students in the UK, commencing their journey to Maldives on Saturday.

They are expected to arrive in Velana International Airport in the early hours of Sunday.

As per the current procedures applicable to those returning from abroad, upon arrival all students will be immediately transferred to quarantine facilities, where they will remain for the standard 14-day quarantine period.

The students will only be allowed to travel elsewhere after undergoing testing for COVID-19.

The foreign ministry in collaboration with the Maldivian Embassy in Germany and the Maldivian High Commission in the UK, are working with Sri Lankan Airlines and UK authorities to arrange the repatriation effort.

Assistance with logistics and flight issues are being provided by the High Commission of Maldives in the UK.

The Foreign Ministry earlier stated that fares for the flight were borne by the returning students.

The move to repatriate Maldivians from Belarus comes amidst concerns raised by the students to the Maldivian government about their own safety, as Belarus remains one of the only European nations that is yet to implement strict containment measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to this, repatriation efforts were carried out to bring back Maldivians stranded in Nepal, Bangladesh, Russia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the UK and Thailand as well.

Maldives presently records 1,633 confirmed and 1,220 active cases of COVID-19, five fatalities and 242 recoveries till date.

WHO has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 6 million people and claimed over 367, 000 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, 2.6 million people have recovered.

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