PETALING JAYA: A group of offshore oil and gas workers stranded in India say they have been waiting for a flight home for more than a month as borders remain closed as part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.
One of them, Dinesh Bala Krishnan, said some 150 workers had been waiting since registering their names and location with the Malaysian consulate in Mumbai in early April.
He told FMT a client had assured them that a flight would be charted to bring them home.
They were also told of a flight from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur on May 10 to bring Indian nationals back to India, he said.
“We were supposed to board that, but I have no idea why we didn’t.”
For now, he said, the client had arranged for them to stay at a hotel while efforts are made for another flight back to Malaysia.
However, he said this could take some time as both countries have extended their lockdowns to contain the deadly virus.
“There will be no commercial flights until the lockdown is over.”
Prior to the shift to the hotel, he said, the workers had stayed for a month on barges.
“We were shifted from barges to the hotel on May 10 after going for a swab test two days before that. But there have been no updates from either our client or our government,” he said.
He said the workers were comfortable at the hotel but concerned about their families back home.
“While the government is doing its best to bring back students and stranded tourists, let’s not forget the offshore workers who are also waiting to touch Malaysian soil,” he said.
FMT has reached out to the foreign ministry for comment.
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