11 Maldivians repatriated from Russia

11 Maldivians repatriated from Russia

The government on Wednesday revealed that 11 Maldivians stranded in Russia amid the travel restrictions over COVID-29 pandemic were repatriated.

Speaking at a press conference held at the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC), Under-Secretary at the President's Office Mabrouq Abdul Azeez stated that although several Maldivians are residing in Russia at the time, only 11 opted to return.

He noted that all of the locals in the country were aware of this flight and that those who returned paid for the airfare themselves.

The capital city of Malé, one of the most densely populated cities in the world, has recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 since recording its first local transmission on April 15. A Maldivian woman who sought assistance from a flu clinic in Malé after developing symptoms tested positive for the virus.

Maldives has facilitated in bringing back citizens stranded in various parts in the world, with the most recent being from Bangladesh and Nepal. A Bangladeshi military aircraft on Aril 20, brought back 71 Maldivians — 53 stranded in Bangladesh and 18 Maldivians in Nepal. This flight also carried a team of 10 medical professionals from Bangladesh, journeying to assist with Maldives' efforts to combat COVID-19.

The national airline, Maldivian, also aided in the repatriation of 100 Maldivians stranded in neighbouring Colombo, Sri Lanka, as well as 188 from Cochin, India on April 6 and April 7 respectively. A further 197 Maldivians stranded in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were evacuated on April 8.

Presently, Maldives records 280 confirmed, 262 active cases of COVID-19, with a total of 17 recoveries and one death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the spread of COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The new strain of novel coronavirus has infected over 3.2 million people and claimed over 228,200 lives around the world. However, out of those infected, more than a million people have recovered.