Fire Dept turns hose on virus to keep passengers safe

A team of firemen sanitising and disinfecting baggage of passengers who arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. They do this and more at no extra cost to travellers.

KLUANG: A team of fire personnel have been working around the clock at the KL International Airport (KLIA) to carry out disinfection and sanitisation work of baggage and belongings of arrivals.

This involves not just Malaysians returning home but expatriates and foreigners with valid documents to enter the country.

“We have to be particularly alert for passengers coming from Covid-19 hotspots around the world such as the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Italy and India, ” said Fire and Rescue Department director general Datuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid in an interview.

In detailing their operations, he said the department would gather all the luggage in one place before disinfecting them.

“We take about 30 minutes to disinfect and then load the bags into buses, along with the passengers, before proceeding to the quarantine centres.

“Once we complete the task, the buses are then taken to the KLIA fire station to be disinfected before we head back to the airport for the next group of passengers, ” he said, adding that the department provided five buses for this operation.

He said there was no charge for disinfecting the bags and sending the arrivals to the quarantine centres.

Datuk Mohammad Hamdan WahidDatuk Mohammad Hamdan Wahid

On the department’s effort to sanitise old folks homes following a Covid-19 cluster here, he said that the department had carried out sanitisation work at 16 orphanages and eight old folks homes nationwide so far.

“As for the old folks home in Kluang, it was sanitised three times by officials from the district health office, ” he said, adding that there was a similar cluster at an old folks home in Selangor several weeks ago.

Mohammad Hamdan also said the department wanted to limit the movement of its personnel at these centres.

“So we get our people to guide the operators of these centres or contractors on how to carry out their own sanitisation work, ” he said.

On Monday, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a new Covid-19 cluster involving an old folks home was detected in Kluang.

Fourteen residents tested positive, with one fatality – a 72-year-old Malaysian man.

Mohammad Hamdan said that so far the department had carried out public sanitisation operations involving 12,734 premises nationwide.

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