KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Malaysia has again shown its concern and ability in managing the welfare of its stricken citizens overseas after successfully repatriating 46 people stranded in Tehran, Iran following the Covid-19 pandemic.
This is its third successful mission after evacuating Malaysians from Wuhan, China on February 4 (133 people) and February 26 (66 people) due to the virus outbreak.
This time Malaysia also demonstrated the true spirit of Asean solidarity by evacuating nine people from neighbouring countries — eight Singaporeans and one Indonesian — following high-level talks between the governments.
And for the third straight time, an AirAsia plane was used to successfully carry out the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission. Also on board were five Health Ministry staff, Foreign Ministry (two people), AirAsia crew (16) and one officer from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).
According to Nadma, the special flight from Tehran arrived at the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 6.34 am and all 55 passengers underwent health screening at the Air Disaster Unit at the KLIA before being sent to the surveillance centre at the National Audit Academy in Bandar Enstek, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan to undergo a 14-day quarantine.
The passengers were then taken to the surveillance centre in four buses under heavy police escort, with the first bus arriving at the centre at 9.43am. The second bus arrived 15 minutes later while the other two buses reached about 20 minutes later.
A decontamination operation on the passengers was then carried out by 240 personnel from various agencies, such as the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, Health Ministry, Disaster ResQ, Nadma, Airport Fire and Rescue Services, KLIA District Police Headquarters and the Aviation Security.
Meanwhile, the Singapore government has expressed its gratitude to Malaysia and the Malaysian Embassy in Tehran for accepting the republic’s request to help repatriate eight of its citizens from Iran.
“The Singapore nationals will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine in Kuala Lumpur before returning home,” a Singapore Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement issued today. — Bernama