Coronavirus: Help Indian students in Kuala Lumpur, Kerala CM to MEA

Coronavirus: Help Indian students in Kuala Lumpur, Kerala CM to MEA
Indians stranded at KL Rajaram Sukumar | Mar 21, 2020 - 5:43 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has appealed to the minister for external affairs, S Jaishankar, to intervene in bringing back the Indian students stranded at the Kuala Lumpur Airport since March 17.

Careers360 was the first to report on March 19 about two students of medicine and over 250 others who are stuck at the airport. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, countries have been shutting their borders and banning foreign flights. The students' flight was cancelled due to restrictions on international travel - in fact, they were given just five hours to vacate.

Referring to the Careers360 story, Congress leader and member of Parliament from Kerala, Shashi Tharoor tweeted about it and said he had spoken to Jaishankar about students in Kuala Lumpur as well as Iran.

'Urgent intervention'

In his official communication to the external affairs minister, Vijayan said: “I request your urgent intervention to help the students who are stranded in Kuala Lumpur and ensure their safe return while complying with all health procedures”.

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There are currently 288 passengers stuck at Kuala Lumpur according to a list. India intends to stop all international commercial flights into the country from March 22 to control the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. One student, training to be a doctor, had even posted a video appeal on social media seeking intervention from the government. According to an official of the Airport Authority of India who spoke to Careers360 on condition of anonymity, this ban will not get in the way of any evacuation exercise. Plus, Government of India will not have to sent a plane to fetch those stranded. "India need not send aircraft from here. Already Air Asia stranded aircraft are there in KL. They are ready to operate if GoI gives permission," they said.

On Saturday, India sent an aircraft to fetch those stranded in Rome, Italy, the worst-affected region outside of China but with more deaths.

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