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Govt announces rescue flights from Malaysia, India, Nepal

Shahudha Mohamed
15 June 2020, MVT 11:05
Director of Communications at the Foreign Ministry Miuvan Mohamed speaking at the daily press briefing held by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC). PHOTO: NEOC
Shahudha Mohamed
15 June 2020, MVT 11:05

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Sunday night, confirmed that repatriation flights were set confirmed to bring back Maldivians stranded in Malaysia, India and Nepal, due to global lockdown measures imposed to contain the COVID19 pandemic.

Speaking at the daily press briefing held virtually by the National Emergency Operations Centre (NEOC), Director of Communications at the Foreign Ministry Miuvan Mohamed revealed that approximately 400 locals would be brought back from Malaysia on Maldivian airline flights scheduled for June 15 and 17.

Miuvan confirmed that all passengers booked for Monday's flight, with the exception of 20 individuals, had already purchased their tickets. He added that the ticketing process for those attempting to catch the later flight was currently underway.

Moreover, Miuvan also stated that Maldivian airlines have scheduled two flights to two Indian cities, Bangalore and Delhi, respectively, on June 16 and 17.

Noting that about 150 locals in India requested for repatriation, Miuvan added that Maldivians located in cities close to Bangalore and Delhi can also catch the aforementioned flights back home.

The director also stated that a flight scheduled by Himalayan Airlines is aiming to repatriate a further eight Maldivians from Nepal on June 16.

He urged all locals requesting to be repatriated to contact their respective embassies and High Commissions and keep an open line of contact to ensure the process runs smoothly.

Although dates have yet to be confirmed, Miuvan stated that a special flight will be scheduled to bring back students based in Saudi Arabia, wishing to return home. He noted that over 150 Maldivians are studying at the Arab country, with a majority of them attending the Islamic University of Madinah.

He then offered assurances that the ministry was currently working on determining a flight route for the repatriation of 48 local students residing in Russia.

According to the ministry, till date, nearly 2000 Maldivians have been repatriated from 14 different countries around the world.

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