No transport to airport, 34 M’sians remain stranded

PETALING JAYA: Logistical problems and the difficulty looking for transport to the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport caused 34 Malaysians to remain stranded in Wuhan, China.

“According to Wisma Putra, a number of Malaysians who were supposed to be on the flight were unable to leave Wuhan due to logistical problems,” the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) said in a statement yesterday.

“The main reason is that they are outside of Wuhan and it is difficult to get vehicles into the city or the airport.”

The Malaysians were stranded as Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou cities in the Hubei province were placed in lockdown following the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Only 107 out of 141 people, comprising Malaysians and non-citizen family members, had returned home to Malaysia.

Apart from them, 12 crew members, eight humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission workers and six officers from the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing were also on the flight.

A 27-year-old woman who only wanted to be known as Reen said that most of the Malaysians who managed to return home lived outside of Wuhan.

She said as a result some of them took some nine hours to reach the airport in Wuhan.

Prior to this, Reen said they were notified by the Malaysian Embassy in China to gather at the Wuhan airport to simplify their documentations and immigration processes to leave the country.

Recounting the incident, she said that at around 5pm on Monday, the Chinese government approved the travel permits of the Malaysians who were travelling to the airport following the shutdown of transportation services there.

“As soon as we received approval, I was taken by a relative of my husband to the airport by car from Xiangyang to complete the documentation process,” she told a Malay daily.

Upon arriving at KLIA at about 6am yesterday, Reen said they had to undergo strict health screening procedures to ensure they did not have the symptoms.

Nadma said two of the Malaysians who were evacuated from Wuhan did not pass the health screening tests when they landed.

Both were taken to Hospital Kuala Lumpur while the other evacuees were sent to a surveillance centre at the Higher Education Leadership Academy in Bandar Enstek, Nilai.

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coronavirus , outbreak , Wuhan , pneumonia


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