PUTRAJAYA: The first group of 131 Malaysians reportedly stranded in Yemen since March following the Covid-19 pandemic, arrived safely at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) via a specially chartered Egypt Air flight at 8.34am yesterday morning.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Kamarudin Jaffar said the second group of 17 people was scheduled to arrive today (Aug 3) via an Emirates commercial flight at 12.55 am.
He said the journey of all 148 Malaysians started Saturday (Aug 1) with flights from Seiyoun, Yemen to Cairo, Egypt before continuing in two separate flights to Malaysia.
“The Malaysians from Yemen comprised of private students who expressed their desire to return following the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, and students who have graduated,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
Kamarudin, who is also the ministry’s Covid-19 Task Force chairman, said previously some plans by the Malaysian government to bring home the group of students had to be postponed due to unavoidable logistics issues.
“Nevertheless, the reopening of the airport and the resumption of commercial aviation operations by the Yemeni government have enabled this special repatriation chartered flight to be organised. The cost of repatriation is jointly funded by the Malaysian government and the passengers who are mostly students from low-income families,” he said.
He said all the Malaysians would have to undergo Covid-19 screening tests upon arrival at KLIA and then go through a quarantine process at a quarantine station designated by the government for further monitoring.
It is a follow-up to the announcement by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on July 21 on the 14-day mandatory quarantine, he said.
Kamarudin said Wisma Putra expressed its appreciation to the Yemeni government and the Malaysian Embassy in Muscat, Oman for assisting the Malaysians to return to their homeland and the Egyptian government for their cooperation in making the repatriation mission a success.
He said that Wisma Putra through the Malaysian representatives abroad will continue to monitor the current situation as well as work with local authorities in an effort to provide appropriate assistance to Malaysians who are still abroad. — Bernama