March 27, 2020 / 5:06 AM / 5 days ago

France, Malaysia charter flights to bring home citizens stranded in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - France and Malaysia have organised chartered flights to fly out hundreds of their citizens stranded in Cambodia after Southeast Asian nation sealed borders and cancelled flights in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are trying to find solutions for stranded French tourists who have their flights cancelled or can not go through transit hubs in the region anymore,” Hugo Wavrin, political and press counsellor at the French Embassy in Cambodia told Reuters on Friday.

A special charter flight departed on Thursday with 413 French people on board, Wavrin said.

He said another 100 French nationals will be leaving Cambodia on Saturday and many more will be leaving in the next two days aboard regular commercial flights.

Malaysia also sent a special plane to take home 111 stranded Malaysian nationals on Wednesday, said Cambodia’s Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn.

At the same time, Cambodia coordinated with Malaysia to repatriate six Cambodians stranded in Malaysia, Sokhonn said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

Cambodia reported two new coronavirus cases on Thursday, taking its total to 98, the health ministry said.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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