Health Minister: Malaysians returning from Wuhan to be quarantined for 14 days


  • Nation
  • Monday, 03 Feb 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysians returning from Wuhan will be isolated for 14 days upon arrival to ensure they are truly free from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said all of the passengers in the returning flight will not enter the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) building and instead will be brought to a quarantine area.

He added that all passengers on the flight, the crew and Health Ministry staff involved will be quarantined, adding that their families will not be allowed to visit them during the quarantine period.

“Upon arrival, the flight bringing back Malaysians from Wuhan will land at KLIA. However, all passengers will not enter the terminal building. They will alight from the aircraft and be transported in special buses which will ferry them to the Air Disaster Unit (ADU) building for the decontamination process and entry screening.

“This will be conducted by the Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazmat unit.

“Those who are found to have 2019-nCoV symptoms will be taken away to our referral hospitals, either the Sungai Buloh Hospital or the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

“Those who are without symptoms will be brought to a surveillance centre where they will be quarantined and monitored for 14 days. They will not be allowed to return after they test negative for the coronavirus, ” said Dr Dzulkefly at a press conference here.

The flight to Wuhan is expected to depart Malaysia on Monday (Feb 3) evening, and the return flight is scheduled for early Tuesday (Feb 4) morning.

A total of 141 Malaysians and approximately 24 non-Malaysians, who are family members, have been identified for the return flight from Wuhan.

Dzulkefly said they will be subjected to exit screening by Chinese health authorities at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport before they board the plane.

“If any of them are found to have symptoms, they will not be allowed on the flight and will be taken to a health facility in Wuhan for further treatment, ” said Dzulkefly.

Eight officers from the Health Ministry, the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) and the Foreign Minister will be on the plane leaving KLIA to facilitate the rescue process.

There will also be 12 flight crew members on board the AirAsia plane, consisting of one pilot, one co-pilot and 10 flight attendants.

Meanwhile, Dzulkefly said there have been no increase in the number of positive 2019-nCoV cases in Malaysia, keeping the tally at eight.

“Thank God, it has been four days without an increase in the number of cases.

“The patients under our care are all in a stable condition, and their symptoms show no sign of worsening.

“Hopefully, in the next seven days we can confirm that some of the patients have recovered and tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus, ” said Dzulkefly.

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