Coronavirus: Mission to bring back Malaysians from Wuhan

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – A special flight will bring back 132 people comprising 108 Malaysians and 24 non-citizens who were their spouses and children from Wuhan, China today, following the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said subject to the approval from the Chinese government, only those who have been certified healthy after undergoing an exit screening by the local authorities at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport will be brought back.

“The mission will include eight people, comprising six officials from the Malaysian Ministry of Health, an officer from the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and one from the Foreign Ministry,” she said in a statement yesterday.

She said an AirAsia plane with 12 crew will be used for this mission.

“AirAsia has set the flight date for February 3, subject to approval from the Chinese government. The flight will also be taking essential supplies such as masks (nose and mouth), gloves, and food, in accordance with the list agreed by the Chinese authorities,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah said she met with all the staff going on the mission, including the flight crew, to thank them on behalf of the government and the people of Malaysia, especially the families involved, for helping to bring back the Malaysians from Wuhan.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail at the press conference yesterday. PHOTO: BERNAMA

“I also advised them to look after themselves and those they were bringing back,” Wan Azizah who is also chairman of the Central Disaster Management Committee, said.

She said NADMA director-general Datuk Mohtar Mohd Abd Rahman had given her, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, on the humanitarian mission to bring back the Malaysians from China.

She also visited the Air Disaster Center (ADU), where all the passengers, members of the mission, and crew will undergo health screening when they return to KLIA.

She said those found with symptoms (of the virus) will be sent to hospital while those who clear the screening will go to the monitoring centre.

“I found that adequate preparations and medical provisions have been provided for the health screenings.

“I have also been to the monitoring centre to look at the operations room, accommodations and other facilities for all 158 passengers including the eight members of the Malaysian mission, 12 flight crew and six officials from the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing to undergo observation for 14 days,” she said.

Dr Wan Azizah added that she was satisfied with the workflow and preparations for the mission.

“Let us Malaysians pray that this mission goes smoothly and all those brought back from Wuhan and members of the mission and crew are safe,” she said.