SECRETARY to Prime Minister (SPM) Dr Jimmy Rogers says the proposed flight to China is not canceled as some might have thought; rather it is subjected to review before a final decision can be made.
Speaking at the recent talk back show over the national broadcaster, Dr Rogers said the flight was planned for the 29th August, but according to instructions from Caucus, it has to be reviewed.
“That said, the decision to cancel that flight has not yet been made rather we are reviewing the flight looking at options whether it will remain as it is or defer for a later date,” he said.
He said the Oversight Committee was told to also carry out an assessment of the Camp Management team to see whether or not they needed a break because they have been tied up with looking after our repatriates since the COVID-19 campaign began.
“And if they need a break, then those are the reasons why some of those flights will have to be postponed so that we can carefully look at those things and revisit our SOPEs,” he said.
Dr Rogers said that currently, there are around 53 nationals living in China and they also want to come home.
Not only that, he said the government is also looking at bringing home some other nationals who are stranded in other countries.
“As we speak, we have about 403 plus students studying in the Philippines, over 30 in Indonesia, 31 in UK, 10 in USA and around 10 in Europe. All of them are awaiting repatriation and that is our main focus,” he said.
He said since they are now facing much higher risk of contracting COVID-19, the government is also prioritising their return as it also takes responsibility over its citizens abroad.
By IAN M.KAUKUI