Second batch back home

SEPANG: All the 66 individuals who arrived from Wuhan are being housed at the monitoring centre at the Higher Education Leadership Academy in Nilai for the 14-day quarantine period.

The individuals, comprising 46 Malaysian citizens and 20 of their non-citizen family members, are among Malaysians stranded in Wuhan, Hubei province, following the outbreak of Covid-19 in December last year.

They were brought home on a special flight which arrived at KL International Airport (KLIA) at 6.45am yesterday.

The aircraft also carried 12 crew members, nine Malaysian government representatives and two officers from the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing, making it 89 people on board.

These 23 people have also been placed under the 14-day quarantine period at the centre.

The Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said 75 passengers were originally listed to be on the flight home, but nine of them could not make it due to various factors.

“Six who were already at the airport could not board due to health reasons.

“One passenger withdrew, also from health reasons, without being present at the airport, another could not make the trip because of work commitments while one other individual could not leave Wuhan due to logistical issues, ” the statement read.

This is the second Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief mission carried out by the government to bring Malaysian citizens back from Wuhan after the first mission on Feb 4 where 107 were flown home.

At the academy, located about 24km from KLIA, the first two buses arrived at 9.50am while the other two arrived at 10.30am accompanied by police escort.

The passengers, all wearing face masks, were seen heading to a building located at the back of the centre and upon arrival, were ushered to their respective accommodation.

Throughout the 14-day quarantine period, their contact is limited to health personnel.

National Disaster Management Agency director-general Datuk Mohtar Mohd Abd Rahman said the second mission was more organised as everyone involved was aware of their responsibilities and roles.

“In the first mission, we were a bit worried about some of the possibilities that could occur because it was the first experience for all the agencies involved.

“This operation management has been well implemented because all our plans are based on our experience gained in the last mission, ” he said at KLIA.

Mohtar said the operation would also be documented so that standard operating procedures (SOPs) could be used as a guide for similar missions in future.

He also said that so far there was no plan for a third mission to bring Malaysians back from Wuhan.

“We will view the current situation and if there is a need, we will think about it, ” he said.

To date, the cumulative number of Covid-19 positive cases in Malaysia has remained at 22 and 20 of them have fully recovered. — Bernama

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