India evacuates 405 citizens stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport

India evacuates 405 citizens stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport

Kuala Lumpur/New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) India has evacuated its 405 citizens, including students, stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Indian government approved AirAsia flights for Delhi and Vizag to help the stranded Indians.

'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,' the High Commission tweeted.

A source privy to the development said,'Flight D7182 from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi departed at 7.25 pm (local time), while flight AK8082 left Kuala Lumpur at 5.05 pm (local time) to Visakhapatnam.' 'While AK8082 landed at around 6.40 pm with 185 passengers at Visakhapatnam airport, D7182 landed at Delhi airport with 220 passengers at around 10.30 pm,' the source added.

The Indian nationals were stuck at the Kuala Lumpur airport after the government, which on Monday banned the entry of passengers from EU countries, Turkey, the UK from March 18 till March 31, also closed its doors to those from Afghanistan, the Philippines and Malaysia with immediate effect.

'Appreciate the difficult situation of Indian students and other passengers waiting in transit at Kuala Lumpur airport. We have now approved Air Asia flights for you to Delhi and Vizag,' External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tweeted on Tuesday.

'These are tough times and you should understand the precautions. Please contact the airline,' he said.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in India rose to 151 on Wednesday. The cases include 25 foreign nationals and three persons who died in Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra. PTI SCY DSP AAR AAR