Coronavirus: 224 Singapore residents evacuated from Cairo as Egypt suspends all commercial flights

Exterior of Terminal 1 is seen at Cairo International Airport in Egypt on July 21, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - A total of 224 Singapore residents have been evacuated from Cairo after Egypt suspended all commercial flight services.

Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday (April 8) that it had arranged, with the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), a repatriation flight for the Singapore residents to return home.

The flight was arranged because Egypt halted all commercial flights, said MFA.

The returning Singapore residents arrived here on Wednesday morning, around 2am.

Of the 224 residents, 211 are students studying at Al-Azhar University in Cairo.

MFA said the returning residents will serve 14-days of self-isolation at dedicated stay-home notice facilities.

Muis said it has set aside Zakat funds to help students and parents offset the cost of the flight. It is also working with the Al-Azhar University to ensure that the student can continue their studies.

"Muis will continue to monitor the global situation and work closely with MFA to safeguard the well-being of Singapore students studying in foreign Islamic universities," it said.

Muis also urged students who are still overseas to take necessary precautions, step up personal hygiene, e-register with the MFA and heed the advice of local authorities.

Thousands of Singaporean students have returned home from all over the world since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak as educational institutions suspend classes and governments impose border restrictions.

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