KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia will repatriate its nationals from parts of India due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country, Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said on Thursday.
He said the government decided to repatriate Malaysians as well as their dependents based in the northern and western parts of India by chartered flights.
Those returning will be subject to COVID-19 tests before departure and upon arrival and will also be quarantined for 14 days at government-designated quarantine stations, Hishammuddin said in a statement.
This follows Malaysia's expanding of entry ban from India to its neighbors of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal in a bid to stop the import of new COVID-19 variants to the country this week.
Malaysia implemented a ban on flights to and from India on April 28 over concerns of new variants first identified in India. An Indian citizen entering Malaysia has been found with infections of the variant B.1.617.
Meanwhile, Malaysia's Health Ministry reported 3,551 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the national total to 427,927.
Another 19 new deaths have been reported, pushing the death toll to 1,610.