The Bangladeshi government has given special permission for the aircraft to land and depart from the international airport in Dhaka
by NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK/ pic by BLOOMBERG
AROUND 270 Malaysians in Bangladesh will be brought home via a special chartered flight scheduled to fly to Bangladesh today, as travel restrictions worldwide remain in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (picture) said as at 12pm yesterday, there were 367 Malaysians identified in Bangladesh.
This includes 219 students, 55 staff of Hospital Medan Malaysia at Cox Bazar, 73 people living and working in Bangladesh with their families, and 20 civil servants together with their family members working at the Malaysian High Commission in Bangladesh.
“Of the total, 270 people have agreed to return home to Malaysia as soon as possible. However, the government has requested seven civil servants to remain on duty at the Malaysian High Commission in Bangladesh.
“On behalf of the government, I thank them and respect them for their willingness to stay there in service to the country,” Hishammuddin said in a press conference yesterday.
The Malaysians will be flown home on a special Airbus 332 aircraft owned by Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAB).
The Bangladeshi government has given its assurance that the aircraft will have special permission to land and depart from the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka.
The cost of repatriating the Malaysians in Bangladesh will be fully borne by MIC.
MIC had also covered the full costs of the six flights that brought home Malaysians stranded in India.
About 696 Malaysians returned from India yesterday morning, Hishammuddin said.
Meanwhile, 46 Malaysians have returned from Iran, Hishammuddin added.
“For Italy, the National Security Council, Wisma Putra and Malaysian representatives in Italy are negotiating with the Italian government to obtain special clearance for our aircraft to land, to enable the immediate repatriation (of Malaysians) from Italy,” he said.
To date, over 1,000 Malaysians stranded in Uzbekistan, Egypt, Maldives, Nigeria, Thailand, Japan, Cambodia and other countries have successfully been brought home. All 19 Malaysian tourists who were said to be stranded in Spain have returned home safely, while 16 Malaysian tourists in Brazil were expected to have arrived yesterday afternoon, Bernama reported.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s relationships with countries such as China and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are expected to help the country obtain medical equipment and help from specialists to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“Wisma Putra, and myself included, have begun talks with the Chinese government to seek assistance in sending their medical specialists to Malaysia immediately.
“I have been informed that medical experts from 26 hospitals in Malaysia will be holding video conferences with medical specialists in China on Thursday (tomorrow) to share the best methods and strategies in fighting Covid-19,” Hishammuddin said.
The government is also working on obtaining medical equipment assistance from UAE as soon as possible, he added.