25 February 2020
The second mission to bring back 75 Malaysian citizens and their families who have been stranded in Wuhan, China, following the Covid-19 outbreak in the republic will continue, despite the current political situation in the country.
According to a National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) spokesman, the Malaysians would be flown from Wuhan via a special AirAsia flight which is expected to arrive tomorrow (Feb 26) at 6am.
Earlier, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Azizah Wan Ismail was reported as saying that the Foreign Ministry and NADMA in collaboration with AirAsia were arranging for the second evacuation flight.
Wan Azizah said as per the first mission, upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), all passengers would undergo health screening at the Air Disaster Unit (ADU) before being sent to the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT) where they would be monitored for 14 days.
In the first humanitarian aid mission carried out by the Malaysian government on Feb 4, 107 Malaysians stranded in Hubei province were flown home. They comprised 88 Malaysians and 19 non-citizens who are their spouses and children.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Ambassador to China, Raja Datuk Nushirwan Zainal Abidin when contacted by Bernama said the flight preparations were going on smoothly and the Chinese authorities have granted their permission for the second mission.
“We have obtained approval from the Chinese embassy …we still have a few issues with a small group of people but the advance team from the embassy are in discussions with the local authorities.
“ A few (vehicle) drivers have at the last minute refused to transport the passengers so they are now looking for replacement drivers,” he said in a WhatsApp message.
He said only two embassy personnel have come to Wuhan to assist with the second mission as the advance team from the earlier mission have laid the groundwork to facilitate process for this mission.
Elaborating he said the special flight is expected to depart from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport at 1am (Feb 26) and is scheduled to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) the same morning.
Meanwhile according to the Health Ministry (MOH) (group media), 21 officers from five agencies namely NADMA (1), the Foreign Ministry (1), MOH (6), Immigration Department (1) and AirAsia (12) are involved in the mission.
The MOH in a statement yesterday said the total cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has remained at 22, and so far 20 patients have recovered.