Second flight to evacuate S'poreans in Wuhan returns

Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff handing out masks to the 174 Singaporeans and their family members before they boarded the flight taking them home from the Chinese city of Wuhan yesterday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff handing out masks to the 174 Singaporeans and their family members before they boarded the flight taking them home from the Chinese city of Wuhan yesterday.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

A second flight bringing 174 Singaporeans and their family members home from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the outbreak of the coronavirus originated, landed at Changi Airport at about 8.30am yesterday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement that the returning passengers on Scoot Flight TR5121 from Wuhan in Hubei province would undergo medical screening upon arrival at Changi Airport. "Those with fever or respiratory symptoms will be taken to designated hospitals for further examination. The remaining passengers will be quarantined for 14 days," said MFA.

MFA consular officers and medical personnel had gone along on the Scoot flight to facilitate the operations, the statement added.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat thanked the Chinese government, MFA officers and the Scoot crew and pilots who had helped bring the Singaporeans home.

He said in a Facebook post: "Glad that our second specially arranged FlyScoot Flight TR5121 to bring 174 Singaporeans and their family members back home from Wuhan has landed safely at Changi Airport."

Before the plane took off from Singapore on Saturday, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan had handed Chinese Ambassador to Singapore Hong Xiaoyong diagnostic test kits and medical supplies, said Mr Heng.

This was part of Singapore's contribution to China's effort to fight the virus outbreak.

"Infectious diseases transcend borders, and Singapore will work closely with China and the international community to overcome this global challenge," Mr Heng added.

The Wuhan-bound flight also took some Chinese nationals in Singapore home.

 
 

On the returning Singaporeans, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Facebook yesterday: "They are being quarantined but their ordeal in Wuhan has finally ended. Scoot pilots and cabin crew stepped forward for this evacuation flight. We salute them!"

Scoot also provided the first flight to evacuate Singaporeans from Wuhan on Jan 30, which brought 92 Singaporeans home.

Audrey Tan

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2020, with the headline 'Second flight to evacuate S'poreans in Wuhan returns'. Print Edition | Subscribe