COVID-19: Foreign missions thank gov’t for action, treatment for immigration detainees

by BERNAMA/ pic by TMR FILE

FOREIGN Missions whose citizens have been affected in COVID-19 infection clusters at three immigration detention depots here are grateful to the Malaysian government for their prompt action and ensuring that those who have been infected are getting treatment.

The Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia told Bernama that it could not provide the exact number of infected Bangladeshi citizens at the depots as they are still awaiting and conducting verifications on the information.

“We are receiving day-to-day information on those who are affected by COVID-19 through regular communications. Therefore, the number has the possibility of changing. We appreciate and thank the Malaysian Government for their treatment and necessary initiatives on humanitarian ground,” it said.

The High Commission said it is appreciative of the Malaysian Government for ensuring access to COVID-19 test and treatment facilities for both documented and undocumented migrants as this has encouraged more migrants coming forward for COVID-19 testing.

“The government has given chance to undocumented migrants also to get treatment from the hospital from the beginning of COVID-19. It is a very timely and thoughtful decision of the Malaysian government in this period of pandemic. We appreciate it,” it added.

The High Commission said Bangladesh and Malaysia have excellent bilateral relations and it is working in close cooperation with all relevant Ministries and agencies and is appreciative of their friendly attitude.

“It is imperative to work together, particularly during this pandemic, and we are doing so,” it said.

With regards to efforts in bringing home its undocumented citizens, the Bangladesh High Commission  said that the matter will proceed according to the rules and regulations of both countries.

“Both governments are working to resolve the situation created by COVID-19, including treatment and deportation of people within the legal framework. The High Commission is always working with the Government of Malaysia,” it said.

Meanwhile, an official source at The High Commission of India in Malaysia here also said it has received information from the Malaysian government with regards to undocumented Indian nationals detained at the immigration detention centres here.

“We have been informed that some Indians have tested positive and they are undergoing treatment as per the Malaysian Health Ministry protocols. We are awaiting the details from the Malaysian authorities of all the Indian nationals in detention centres,” the source told Bernama.

The official said the Vande Bharat Mission – the operation launched by the Indian Government to bring home its stranded citizens in selected countries – is also applicable for detainees at the immigration depots.

The High Commission of India in Malaysia has received excellent cooperation from the relevant agencies of the Malaysian Government for the operation of Vande Bharat Mission flights from Kuala Lumpur, the source said.

It revealed that so far, 10 such flights have been operated from Kuala Lumpur to different destinations in India, where approximately 1,700 stranded Indians have returned to their home country.

Separately, the High Commission of India had also worked closely with the Malaysian authorities in assisting Indian nationals, who were living in areas that had been placed under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO), it said.

Meanwhile a source from the Nepal Embassy said it is in constant communication with the Malaysian authorities on the matter, and still in the process of collecting information.

It has yet to receive any official update from the Immigration authorities on the repatriation of Nepali detainees by the Malaysian government, the source revealed.

The Ministry of Health (KKM) on May 21 declared that it had detected a new cluster of COVID-19 cases involving foreigners at the Bukit Jalil Immigration Detention Depot (DTI), followed by the DTI in Semenyih (May 23) and Sepang (May 24).

Among the nationalities that had tested positive so far include Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, China, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Libya, Egypt, and Syria.