No Malaysian students in US with Covid-19

The Malaysian Embassy in the US. Photo via Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: No Malaysian students in the United States (US) have been reported to contract Covid-19, said the Malaysian Embassy in Washington DC.

The embassy, in a statement emailed to Bernama, said two Malaysian students in the US are undergoing self-quarantine due to possible exposure to a faculty member who was found to be Covid-19-positive.  

It said Education Malaysia (EM), the Public Service Department (PSD) and Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) in Washington DC have been communicating with Malaysian students on Covid-19 and have provided necessary advice and guidance depending on the states they are in.

“They are also advised to abide by the measures and recommendations set by the local authorities.

“Furthermore, EM is working closely with a Malaysian student body in the US which is the National Assembly of Malaysian Students in America (Namsa) to monitor the students’ well-being and provide assistance and advice where necessary,” said the statement in response to Bernama’s questions on the fate of Malaysian students in the US in the wake of Covid-19.

According to EM in Washington DC, several Malaysian students have directly or indirectly contacted EM on the accommodation issue and they have conveyed that they prefer to stay with their friends (out of campus) for the time being.

There are a total of 7,709 Malaysian students studying in the US, which included 260 PSD-sponsored students and 57 Mara-sponsored students.

Commenting further, the embassy said students are generally advised to postpone or cancel non-essential travel plans and activities that involve mass public gatherings, and PSD-sponsored students are required to obtain official approval from PSD headquarters before travelling abroad.

“The students are also required to inform PSD of their travel within the US so that PSD could closely monitor their movement and well-being.

“In addition, the students are also required to inform their sponsors if they are unwell and to obtain immediate medical assistance,” it added.

The statement said many educational institutions in the US have now transitioned to online classes to minimise physical interaction and students are advised to follow their respective university’s instructions and safety precautions.

President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency in an attempt to thwart the spread of the Covid-19 in the US, reported Anadolu Agency.

There are over 1,600 confirmed coronavirus cases in the US including 47 deaths, according to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – Bernama