A total of 59 students who were stranded in Wuhan, epicenter of corona virus outbreak in China, arrived back in Mandalay this morning. They were evacuated by a special plane of Myanmar Airways on 1 February night.
The Myanmar students were evacuated by a volunteer team including three pilots led by Senior Pilot Capt Khup Khan Muang, four flight attendants, two engineers, one staff of the airways, three doctors from the Ministry of Health and Sports.
Although there were 63 Myanmar students, four of them had fevers when the volunteer team arrived in Wuhan and the team had to leave them in Wuhan. The plane carrying the students and the volunteer team arrived at Mandalay International Airport at 4 am.
“A total of 59 students came back with our flight and four student were left in Wuhan. Chinese authorities checked them with thermal sensors systematically and allowed people with normal temperatures to board the plane. We had to wait three hours on the plane. At first, we thought we would have to wait only about one hour. Chinese authorities checked them systematically. As some of them were nervous, their hearts beat fast and their temperatures rose. Three hours later, Chinese authorities did not allowed the four to board the plane,” the senior pilot said.
The returning students were sent to Kandawnadi Hospital in Mandalay and will be monitored for two weeks. Kandawnadi Hospital was built by JV7 in 1992 and the hospital was used by doctors during SARS outbreak. Necessary preparation have been carried out at the hospital.
“As soon as we arrived in Wuhan, we were not allowed to go out of the cockpit and we were locked up there. We had to wait there wearing protective suits. Dr Tun Tin of the Ministry of Health had already told us that we would have to stay in Waybargi Hospital if we did not wear them when we went outside. Three pilots and an engineers who were in the cockpit are being monitored at their homes. Three doctors at the back of the plane checked the students’ temperatures and monitored the siuation. There were four flight attendants, one engineer and three doctors totalling eight. Three doctors are staying at Kandawnadi Hospital with 59 students. Others will be sent to Waybargi when they arrive back in Yangon. We have to follow the instructions of the Ministry of Health. When we arrived back, health authorities were waiting for us. We had to took off our protective clothings in front of them. As we did not go to the back of plane, we will have to stay at home 14 days and they will monitor us. I have to live in a separate room at home. I cannot mingle with other family members,” the senior pilot said.
Wun Yan Kha