India has repatriated 405 nationals who were stuck in Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The citizens, some of which were students, were repatriated using AirAsia flights and brought to the Indian cities of Delhi and Vizag.
High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur tweeted: “Thanks @AirAsia for flying out 405 stranded Indians transiting thru KLIA in Spl flights to Delhi and Vizag today. Kudos to @hcikl officials for working tirelessly since yesterday to make it happen. @MalaysiaMFA @PMOIndia @MEAIndia.”
The nationals were stranded after the Indian Government banned the entry of passengers from affected countries, including Afghanistan, the Philippines and Malaysia.
The flights used to repatriate the Indians from Malaysia will also be used to evacuate the 135 Malaysian citizens who are stuck in India. This comprises 111 citizens from New Delhi and 24 from Vizag.
The Covid-19 pandemic has so far killed more than 6,500 and infected more than 169,000 people around the world. India has confirmed 173 cases and three deaths so far.
Indian authorities have been criticised due to the country’s low testing rate as it is only testing passengers with a travel history that links them to affected countries or who have been in contact with an affected individual.
India has previously evacuated its citizens from affected regions, including Wuhan in China, Iran, Italy and Japan, along with citizens from other countries such as Myanmar, South Africa and Nepal.
India also evacuated 119 of its citizens from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
Earlier this month, the Government of India announced the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for international cruise ships to prevent the spread of Covid-19.