SEPANG, Feb 26 — The experience gained in handling the first mission to bring home Malaysians from Wuhan, China following the COVID-19 outbreak on Feb 4, helped launch a similar operation today.
National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) director-general Datuk Mohtar Mohd Abd Rahman said the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission was more organised this time as everyone involved were aware of their responsibilities and roles.
He said today’s operation would also be documented so that standard operating procedures (SOPs) could be used as a guide for similar missions in the future.
“In the first mission, we were a bit worried about some of the possibilities that can occur because it was the first experience for all the agencies involved.
“(But as we see) Today’s operation management has been well implemented because all our plans are based on our experience gained on the last mission,” he told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.
The special aircraft on the second mission to bring home Malaysians, their spouses and children from Wuhan, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, arrived at KLIA at 6.45 am.
Yesterday, the aircraft left for Wuhan from KLIA2 at 5.58 pm.
Sixty-six individuals, comprising 46 Malaysians and 20 dependents (spouses/ children) were brought home in the special flight which departed from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport at 1.45 am today.
A total of 287 personnel from various agencies such as the Fire and Rescue Department, police and the Health Ministry were involved in the mission today.
Mohtar said that so far there were no plans for a third mission to bring Malaysians home from Wuhan.
“So far, we have no plans to carry out a third mission, but we will view the current situation and if there is a need we will think about it (third mission),” he said.
On Feb 4, the Malaysian government managed to bring home 107 Malaysians stranded in Hubei province, via the first HADR mission.