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Wuhan coronavirus: Malaysia to bring home citizens and their spouses from virus epicentre

Wuhan coronavirus: Malaysia to bring home citizens and their spouses from virus epicentre

Mask-wearing passengers wait to board their flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Labu, Malaysia Jan 26, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Tim Chong)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will send a flight to Wuhan to bring home 132 people, including Malaysians and their spouses, from the virus epicentre on Monday (Feb 3) following the coronavirus outbreak there.

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said that, subject to the approval of the Chinese government, only those who have been certified healthy after undergoing health screening at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport will be flown home.

The 132 people include 108 Malaysians and 24 foreigners who are spouses and children of the Malaysians.

READ: Malaysia confirms new case of Wuhan virus; total of 8 infected

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“The mission will comprise eight people, consisting of six officials from the Malaysian Ministry of Health, an officer from the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) and one from the Foreign Ministry,” Dr Wan Azizah said in a statement on Sunday.

An AirAsia plane with 12 crew will be used for this mission, she added.

“AirAsia has set the flight date for Feb 3, 2020, subject to approval from the Chinese government. The flight will also be take essential supplies such as masks (nose and mouth), gloves, and food, in accordance with the list agreed by the Chinese authorities,” she said.

At least seven people have been confirmed to have the Wuhan virus in Malaysia. (Photo: Bernama)

Dr Wan Azizah said she had met with all those deployed for the mission, including flight crews, 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.

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

Dr Wan Azizah also visited the Air Disaster Center (ADU), where all the passengers, members of the mission, and crew will undergo health screening upon their return.

READ: Philippines reports first Wuhan coronavirus death outside China

Those found with symptoms of the virus, she said, will be sent to hospital while those who clear the screening will go to the monitoring centre.

She also visited the monitoring centre to review the operations room, accommodation and other facilities where all passengers, flight crew and officials from the flight will undergo observation for 14 days.

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.

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