A total of 359 Malaysians stranded in Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), India, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have arrived home safely, and more are expected to return in the coming days.

Deputy Foreign Minister Kamaruddin Jaafar, in a statement, said the group arrived at klia2 on two chartered Malindo Air flights, at 5.50am and 4.46pm yesterday.

"The next flights from India are scheduled to arrive between April 3 and 6 to bring back 1,790 Malaysians who are still stranded in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Trichy," he said.

Earlier on March 25, a total of 558 Malaysians stranded in Chenni and Trichy , arrived home via two special AirAsia aircraft.

The cost for all three flights was fully borne by MIC.

According to Kamaruddin further, some 59 Malaysians also arrived home from Melbourne, Australia, last night, while some 266 locals are still stuck in Australia.

As required by the Health Ministry in handling the virus outbreak, all returning passengers are required to self quarantine for 14-days.

Kamaruddin said he has also been informed of Malaysians stranded in Algeria and Chad, and assured that their welfare will be taken care of, and steps to bring them back home will be made.

Not all Malaysians abroad will, however, get the chance to return home in this trying times.

At least 20 Malaysians who attended a tabligh gathering in New Delhi earlier this month are still under quarantine in the capital city, after a Malaysian woman tested positive for COVID-19.

To compound the matter, the group also stand the risk of being blacklisted from entering India again, as they attended the religious meet using tourist visas, which is not allowed by law.

Photo source: Bernama