No hugs await M’sians from Wuhan

PUTRAJAYA: There will be no warm homecoming for Malaysians returning home from Wuhan today.

They will not be allowed to enter the KL International Airport (KLIA) building but will be isolated for 14 days to ensure they are truly free from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Furthermore, all the passengers, including the crew and Health Ministry officers, will not be allowed visitation from family members while they are being quarantined.

“Upon arrival the flight from Wuhan will land at KLIA. Rather than entering the terminal building, passengers will be transported by special buses to the Air Disaster Unit building for decontamination and entry screening. This will be conducted by the Fire and Rescue Department’s Hazmat unit.

“Those with symptoms will be taken away to our referral hospitals, either the Hospital Sungai Buloh or Hospital Kuala Lumpur, ” he said at a press conference here yesterday.

“Those without symptoms will be brought to a surveillance centre where they will be quarantined and monitored for 14 days.”

Laden with 500,000 pairs of rubber gloves, the flight from KLIA to Wuhan departed at 3.50pm yesterday, and the return flight is scheduled to arrive today.

A total of 141 passengers; 116 Malaysians and 25 non-Malaysians who are family members, have been identified for the return flight from Wuhan.

Dzulkefly said that 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, ” he said.

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

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

Nadma, which is headed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, said it was in contact with the family members about matters relating to the return flight as well as to explain the quarantine process.

Meanwhile, Dzulkefly said there was 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, ” he said, adding that it was hoped they would recover in the next seven days and tested negative for the 2019-nCoV.

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