COVID-19: 16 MALAYSIANS STRANDED IN BRAZIL FINALLY ON THEIR WAY BACK HOME

AMIRIL MUTTAQIEN MEKETAR

KUALA LUMPUR,  March 24 (Bernama) — It was a huge sigh of relief for 16 Malaysian tourists onboard of the Antartica-bound cruise ship, L’Austral,  as they are finally on their way back to Malaysia, hours after being stranded in Port of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil since Sunday morning.

First Secretary, Embassy of Malaysia in Brasilia, Norliyana Alias confirmed that the group tour have disembarked the French-based cruise ship on Sunday night. 

“They already depared from  Rio de Janeiro Airport and the flight was delayed by 30 minutes,” she told Bernama  on Monday.

Earlier, Norliyana was reported as saying the group members are expected to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Tuesday at 2.35 pm Malaysian time  after departing from Rio de Janeiro Airport on Monday today at 2.35 am local time.

Meanwhile, Apple Vacations Sdn Bhd executive chairman cum tour director Datuk Seri Lee Ee Hoe said that their flight will transit to Dubai first before continue its journey to return home.

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COVID-STRANDED (BRAZIL) 2 (LAST) KUALA LUMPUR

 

“We all have just checked-in for flight to Dubai, then Kuala Lumpur,” he told Bernama in a brief text Whatsapp message.

The group, along with 325 passengers of various nationalities, were stuck in the South Atlantic Ocean after their cruise ship, which sailed from Ushuaia port, Argentina on Feb 28 failed to disembark at Montevideo, Uruguay on March 13 as the country announced a lockdown to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The cruise ship then continued its journey to Buenos Aires port, Argentina and was slated to disembark on March 16, but a lockdown announcement was made by the Argentinian government an hour into the ship’s sailing.

Lee confirmed that spirits remained high among Malaysian tour members, and they were in the pink of health.

More importantly, all of them, including the other passengers, were Covid-19 free, he added.

Lee and other tour members were grateful to receive assistance from the Embassy of Malaysia in Brasilia and were appreciative of their tireless help and diligence in making sure that the group will get back to Malaysia.

-- BERNAMA

TAG: COVID-19, Malaysian, Brazil, Cruise Ship, Holiday