A tropical island in The Maldives
The Maldives

With many starting to look at the COVID-19 pandemic as nearing its end, the Taiwanese government remains committed to bringing home its nationals stranded overseas wherever possible.

Not all agree with their modus operandi, however.

A series of reports published in the Apple Daily over the weekend spoke of people stranded in the Indian Ocean nation of The Maldives, with claims that not enough effort was being made by Taiwan to bring them home.

Responding in a press release to the claims, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed regret that the ongoing efforts to help all Taiwanese nationals overseas by ministry officials are being portrayed thus.

The Taiwan Times understands that the government of The Maldives stopped issuing visas to arriving tourists in late March, and a lockdown was in effect until April 19th in the country.

Issues with the ongoing observance of Ramadan across the largely Muslim nation have also served to complicate repatriation issues.

It is also understood that Taiwanese representative offices in India, the Philippines, and Indonesia have been working to ensure the safe departure from The Maldives of Taiwanese nationals in a bid to get them home as soon as possible.

As a result, a repatriation flight has been arranged for today from New Delhi for Taiwanese in India and Bangladesh, but the 28 Taiwanese stranded in The Maldives have reportedly chosen to remain in the country to wait for the price of tickets to go down before heading home – having chosen not to charter a special flight to Taiwan.

In a statement on the issue released by Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu, he assured those remaining in The Maldives that his representative offices in the region will continue working to ensure all appropriate support is given prior to repatriation.

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