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Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

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Cambodian passengers returned from Malaysia on June 16, 2020. Heng Chivoan

Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia.

A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will transport 158 Cambodians and two Malaysians from Kuala Lumpur on Friday at 9am local time. They will arrive in Phnom Penh at 9:50am.

Ministry spokesperson Koy Koung could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

On April 4, Cambodia stopped 143 Cambodian passengers stranded in Malaysia from returning home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. On June 16, the government permitted them to come home.

Of the 204 passengers who boarded the flight from Malaysia on June 16, 115 were Cambodians who had their original flight cancelled on April 7.

The next day, the Ministry of Health announced that one of the 204 tested positive for Covid-19.

In March, Cambodia reported 34 Covid-19 cases after a group of people returned from a Muslim religious gathering in Malaysia. They were later found to have passed the disease on to nine more people.

Since June 23, Cambodia has not detected a new case, keeping the country’s count at 130. Of the total, 128 have recovered while two are still hospitalised.

On May 20, the ministry tightened measures against passengers returning from abroad. All passengers have to be scanned for Covid-19 and if anyone tests positive, everyone on the plane must be quarantined at a government-managed facility.

If a passenger tests negative for the disease, he can quarantine at home, although foreigners must be quarantined at hotels.

Separately, at a meeting on Tuesday between the Oddar Meanchey provincial administration and the Surin provincial administration of Thailand, both sides agreed to contain the pandemic, stop illegal border crossings, search for those involved in cross-border smuggling and allow imports and exports.

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