159 Maldivians evacuated from Bangalore, Cochin

National carrier Maldivian repatriated 159 Maldivians from Bangalore, and Cochin in India, landing in the Maldives on Tuesday afternoon, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Maldivian airline tweets regarding the evacuation of 159 Maldivians stranded in India. VIDEO: MALDIVIAN / TWITTER

Upon arrival, all individuals aboard the rescue flight were transferred to a quarantine facility in accordance with the Health Protection Agency (HPA)’s Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which mandates that all incoming passengers to the Maldives, with the exception of tourists, must be placed under quarantine for a 14-day period. Tourist arrivals halted after the Maldives stopped issuing on-arrival visas and closed its borders on March 27.

Speaking at a media briefing held by the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), President’s Office’s Undersecretary Mabrouq Abdul Azeez revealed that those evacuated were seeking medical treatment via National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) and national insurance policy ‘Aasandha’.

Mabrouq noted that a total of MVR 1.5 billion had already been spent in support of those under lockdown abroad seeking state-sponsored healthcare, adding that further aid will be provided in the future.

Maldivian evacuated 200 Maldivians from Malaysia on April 8, 188 from Cochin, India on April 6 and 100 from Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 5.

The chartered flight from Colombo was the first operation carried out by Maldivian airline to bring back locals stranded in foreign countries due to travel restrictions implemented in response to the pandemic.

Amid the restrictions, the Maldives government has maintained its policy to repatriate all Maldivians abroad, who wish to return home.

However, several hundred Maldivian students remain stranded in foreign countries, including those in Bangladesh and Nepal under lockdowns imposed by their respective governments, while students in Belarus have expressed concerns regarding their safety due to Belarus government’s inadequate response to COVID-19.

The Maldives now has 20 confirmed and six active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 14 recoveries.

The World Health Organization has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The novel coronavirus has infected over 1.93 million people and claimed over 120,430 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than 456,730 people have recovered.

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Source URL: Google News

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