MCO: Malaysian students in Wellington not keen to return home

MCO: Malaysian students in Wellington not keen to return home

KUALA LUMPUR: Wellington Malaysian Students’ Organisation (WMSO) said Malaysian students in the New Zealand’s capital city are not concerned with returning home at the moment despite the one-month compulsory lockdown to contain the spread of the COVID-19 which began Thursday night (March 26).

“As for now, we think that it is not necessary arrangement to bring Malaysian students home as New Zealand’s COVID-19 cases are not at critical level.

“None of them are concerned about going home for now,” said President of WMSO Zarif Rizlan Mohd Nazri, in a reply statement to Bernama via WhatsApp.

The 21-year-old Bachelor of Commerce Accounting and Finance student at Victoria University of Wellington said currently there are some 120 Malaysian students in various universities in Wellington.

Commenting further, Zarif said the Malaysian High Commission in Wellington has required a student representative from each university in New Zealand to give an update on their members on every alternate day.

“They have also stated that if there are any concerns, we should let the embassy know as soon as possible,” he said.

Earlier, Bernama carried a report quoting Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield yesterday, that New Zealand recorded its first death related to COVID-19 and the number of people infected with the virus rose by 63 cases to a total of 514.

Bloomfield was reported to have said the woman who died was in her 70s and was initially diagnosed with influenza.

Meanwhile, Canterbury Malaysian Students’ Association (CMSA) said CMSA is working closely with the Malaysian High Commission to ensure that all Malaysian students are registered on the High Commission list so that assistance can be given if any expected or unforeseen event occurs.

It advised Malaysian students who are members of CMSA to avoid travelling out of their residential area to prevent unnecessary contact with other people outside of their isolation circle.

“As the Prime Minister of New Zealand has mentioned, there is no need for panic buying since supermarkets are considered essential services and will be open throughout the whole lockdown period,” said CMSA in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The statement said, Malaysian students facing difficulties during the lockdown in New Zealand should contact the CMSA via its Facebook Page and CMSA will try its best to sort things out.

“If any one of them do contract the new COVID-19 virus, they should inform CMSA at the first instance so that we can keep the High Commission and university informed,” it added.