KUALA LUMPUR: Some 220 Malaysians still residing in Italy have chosen not to return to Malaysia following the spread of Covid-19, said Malaysia’s Ambassador to Italy Datuk Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino.
He said most of them are married to Italian citizens and have permanent jobs.
“According to the embassy’s database, 323 Malaysians including students are registered with the mission.
“Of the number, 81 Malaysians and their dependants have safely arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) from Italy in March,” he said in an exclusive interview with Bernama TV via Skype.
Abdul Malik also said the embassy is constantly communicating with the Malaysians from time to time as well as advising them to adhere to the rules set by the government of Italy – such as on the rules of social distancing, and to stay home except for matters related to health.
The ambassador said there are no Malaysian students in Italy’s red-zone areas as of now, and the embassy is keeping in touch with the students to ensure their safety.
Meanwhile, Abdul Malik said Malaysians in Italy have no problems accessing basic needs as supermarkets and pharmacies are still open to the public.
He also said the number of Covid-19 positive cases has been on a downward trend following rigorous measures introduced by the Italian government, such as a lockdown and banning public gatherings.
According to recent reports, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy’s lockdown will be partially lifted from May 4 – allowing for several key businesses to operate after seven weeks of restriction – but cautioned that firms must strictly observe new safety protocols. - Bernama