by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA
EUROPEAN citizens treated for COVID-19 in Malaysia have shared positive words about their experience, said Ambassador and Head of the Delegation of the EU to Malaysia, Maria Castillo Fernandez.
“We hear only good things from the European citizens who have been treated for COVID-19 in Malaysia,” she said.
Fernandez expressed her gratitude towards Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the hospital staffs here, and also appreciated the fact that the Ministry briefed embassies with timely information and maintained contact with them.
“Fortunately, there have been no fatalities in this group (of European citizens). I want to thank all the dedicated people in the hospitals,” she told Bernama in an email interview.
While there are currently no EU citizens being treated for COVID-19 in Malaysian hospitals, the past few weeks saw three or four EU citizens who were hospitalised and treated (for COVID-19), including a pregnant woman, she said.
“They have all fully recovered and have expressed their gratitude and admiration for the efficiency of the hospital staff and great quality of care they received, which aided in their quick recoveries,” she said.
The Ambassador also conveyed her thanks to the Malaysian authorities for the enormous efforts to repatriate stranded EU citizens during the COVID-19 crisis, including Malaysia’s Foreign Ministry, Transport Ministry, International Trade and Industry Ministry, as well as the Immigration Department, airport authorities and Malaysia Airlines.
“We are grateful to all of them and to their teams; there is strong communication between the Malaysian authorities and the European Union embassies. It is not business as usual. We are in a global unprecedented crisis, it affects us all and can only be solved at a global level, supporting each other,” she said.
There are about 1,500 EU citizens still stranded in Malaysia but the number keeps changing daily as they managed to return home, she said, adding that the EU embassies have organised around five repatriation flights for EU citizens so far.
Fernandez said as the primary responsibility for consular protection of EU citizens is with their respective countries, her Mission will cooperate and coordinate with EU Member States’ embassies and consulates in support of their repatriation work.
“In particular, we facilitate the exchange of information between EU Countries’ embassies, we link with local authorities and companies, we help them to organise the repatriation of EU citizens, organise flights, distribute practical information, advise on how to handle travel restrictions around the world, we make lists of those leaving, (and) assist them at departure time,” she said.