SEPANG — Indian nationals stranded in Malaysia joined the world’s biggest repatriation exercise organised by the Indian government with 177 of them flying home tonight on the first repatriation flight from Kuala Lumpur to Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu.
Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia Shri Mridul Kumar said they were part of 15,000 Indian nationals in Malaysia expected to be flown to various destinations in India namely Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and New Delhi under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’.
“About 5,000 people have registered so far with the High Commission. Every day we are looking to send back 180 to 250 people and during the first week of the evacuation process will see at least 1,000 Indian nationals travelling back,” he told reporters after sending off the first group at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), here, today.
He said priority is given to the elderly and medical emergency cases and in tonight’s flight 60 of them were elderly persons, 14 pregnant women, eight children, two infants and four medical emergency cases.
Mridul said the High Commission of India in Malaysia expressed its gratitude to the government and the authorities over the smooth repatriation of Indian nationals after seven weeks of being stranded in Malaysia following the Movement Control Order and flight cancellations due to COVID-19.
The first round of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ is expected to bring back around 200,000 Indians in foreign lands by mid-May and another 400,000 Indians in the second round by mid-June.