Dozens of Malaysians quarantined after being evacuated from Wuhan

Feb 04 , 2020. 17 minutes ago – 17:59 KYODO NEWS

(Supplied electron micrograph shows a new coronavirus identified in China.)
[Photo courtesy of Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, GISAID]

KUALA LAMPUR – Dozens of Malaysians were quarantined after arriving home Tuesday on a special flight from Wuhan, the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak in China.

Low-cost carrier AirAsia, which took on the humanitarian mission, evacuated 88 Malaysian citizens and their 19 non-citizen spouses and children from Wuhan, landing at Kuala Lumpur International Airport early Tuesday morning.

In addition to the 107 evacuees, 26 crew members and officials from the health and foreign ministries were on board the flight. All were immediately whisked away in a bus to a facility for further screening and decontamination procedures, according to a statement from the Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Wan Azizah is also the chairperson of the National Disaster Management Agency, which led the mission.

Following the screening of the 107 passengers from Wuhan, two were found to be symptomatic and sent to a government hospital for treatment and further testing. The rest were transported to a surveillance center on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, where they will be quarantined for 14 days.

Malaysia had identified 141 citizens and their families who wanted to return. But, with Hubei Province, where Wuhan is the capital, in lockdown, 34 were not able to find transportation into the city.

The AirAsia flight that left Kuala Lumpur on Monday to Wuhan also brought along 500,000 rubber gloves as a donation to the Chinese government to help in its fight against the new coronavirus that has killed 425 and sickened over 20,000 on the mainland.

Malaysia has eight confirmed cases of infection, all Chinese nationals.