Telegu Desam Party chief and former CM N Chandrababu Naidu thanked External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Wednesday for his efforts to bring back Telugu students, in particular, and all other Indians who were left stranded at Kuala Lumpur airport after the Centre banned the entry of flights from Malaysia in a bid to contain novel coronavirus outbreak.
"At the outset, I would like to thank you on the behalf of people of Andhra Pradesh and on my own personal behalf for the efforts you have rendered in getting back the number of Indians in general and Telugu people in particular from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Your quick response and coordination to bring back the stranded Indians from Kuala Lumpur airport is highly appreciable and will be remembered by the Telugu people," Naidu wrote in a letter dated March 18, 2020, and addressed to the External Affairs Minister.
Around 250 to 300 Indians are stranded in Kuala Lumpur airport and many of them are students en route to India from the Philippines. "I also take this opportunity to thank your team and Air Asia for rendering the service of bringing back our people to home during these troubled times. The special flight to Visakhapatnam in addition to Delhi would allow our children to reach home safer and faster," Naidu added.
On late Tuesday evening, S Jaishankar announced that the Centre has allowed an Air Asia flight from Kuala Lumpur to land in Visakhapatnam carrying all the 250 Indians who were stuck at the Kuala Lumpur airport. Southeast Asia is facing a wave of infections that originate from an event at a mosque on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur attended by some 16,000 people. Malaysia now has the biggest outbreak in the region. Beginning a 14-day partial lockdown from Wednesday, the country has so far reported 673 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday praised the Indian government's commitment to combat the novel coronavirus -- a pandemic which has infected more than 168,000 people and killed over 7500 globally. India has so far reported 152 cases of the novel coronavirus, while three people have died in the country.
(With agency inputs)