Malaysia to send second rescue plane to Wuhan

Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said about 75 Malaysians and their spouses and children will be brought back on a special AirAsia flight.
Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said about 75 Malaysians and their spouses and children will be brought back on a special AirAsia flight.PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will be sending another plane to Wuhan to evacuate its citizens from the city in China on Feb 25.

Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said about 75 Malaysians and their spouses and children will be brought back on a special AirAsia flight.

"The Foreign Ministry and the National Anti-Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) are arranging for this AirAsia flight to evacuate the 75 from Wuhan and the flight is scheduled for Feb 25," said Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah.

This second evacuation flight, she added, will be managed similarly to the first mission on Feb 4.

"As soon as they land at KLIA, the passengers will be taken to the Air Disaster Unit (ADU) building, where they will go through a health screening. After that, they will be sent to the Higher Education Leadership Academy (Akept) in Negri Sembilan to be quarantined for 14 days," said Dr Wan Azizah at a press conference after chairing a high-level committee meeting on Covid-19.

She said there are no plans for a third rescue mission, adding that this could be the final one.

She said the government is aware of the logistical problems in Wuhan, adding that it might be difficult for people there to reach the airport as this is quite far from the city.

On Feb 4, Malaysia flew 107 people home from Wuhan, two of whom were later taken to Hospital Kuala Lumpur after they were found to be symptomatic at the health screening done at the ADU.

Subsequent tests on them found that they were Covid-19 negative.

 
 
 
 

However, a father and son who were among the Wuhan returnees later tested positive for Covid-19, and were taken to Hospital Tuanku Jaafar in Seremban to be treated.

At the end of the 14-day quarantine period on Feb 18, all of the 107 returnees, including the father and son, were allowed to return home after they were all declared Covid-19 negative.

Dr Wan Azizah said as of Friday, there has been no increase in the number of new coronavirus cases in Malaysia, keeping the tally at 22.

Currently, 17 patients have recovered and were discharged with only five remaining in the ward.

Dr Wan Azizah said Malaysia's Covid-19 situation remains at an early containment stage.

"There is no widespread human-to-human transmission in the country, no sporadic cases within the community, no deaths and we are still able to manage the situation with our existing capacity and capability," she said.