Health minister: All involved in bringing back Malaysians from Wuhan will undergo 14 days mandatory quarantine

Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks to reporters at the Health Ministry in Putrajaya February 3, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks to reporters at the Health Ministry in Putrajaya February 3, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 3 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad today said all those involved in repatriating Malaysian citizens from the novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) focal point of Wuhan, China will have to undergo mandatory 14 days' quarantine once they return.

He said this will include 141 Malaysian evacuees, eight government officers who will be in the Air Asia flight, 12 flight crews as well as six personnel from Malaysian Embassy in Beijing who travelled to Wuhan by land last week to prepare for the operation.

“They will not be passing the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), as they will be sent in a special bus straight to the Air Disaster Unit building for decontamination process and entry screening by Hazmat and Bomba together with Ministry of Health personnel.

 Those who display symptoms (of 2019 nCov) will be brought straight to the hospital while those who are not will be brought to a surveillance center nearby and will not be allowed to go home and meet their families for at least 14 days,” he told reporters in a press conference today.

Dzulkefly said only those who passed the exit screening in Wuhan city would be allowed to get in the special flight while those who did not pass would have to undergo treatment in China.

He said once the flight takes off from China back to Malaysia, the medical team in flight will start their own disinfectant and screening procedure until they arrive in Malaysia.

“During the five-hour flight, there will be constant monitoring and observation by the in-flight medical team and those who display the (virus) symptoms will be isolated to the back of the plane,” he said.

 National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) announced today that the flight AirAsia AK8264 with 12 crews and eight workers departed KLIA at 3.50pm today to the Tianhe Wuhan airport for the special mission.

 They are scheduled to arrive back at KLIA tomorrow morning.

 On Saturday, it was reported that the Malaysian government has been granted permission by the Chinese authorities to evacuate Malaysians in Wuhan and areas in Hubei province following the outbreak.

 There are about 35,000 Malaysians living in China, 25,000 in Hong Kong and 2,500 in Beijing.

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