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Civil Defence Force prepares for monsoon season amid Covid-19 pandemic

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Malaysia Civil Defence Force personnel distributing protective face masks to the public in Kuala Lumpur March 21, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Malaysia Civil Defence Force personnel distributing protective face masks to the public in Kuala Lumpur March 21, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

TAIPING, Nov 21 — The Civil Defence Force (APM) is making preparations to face the monsoon season and the likelihood of floods in several states in the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak amid the challenging Covid-19 pandemic.

APM Chief Commissioner Datuk Roslan Wahab said the APM, in its role as the Disaster Management Committee secretariat, has set the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for flood disaster operations during the Northeast Monsoon between this November and March next year.

“The SOPs include taking the temperature of flood evacuees, ensuring all rescue personnel and evacuees wear face masks, enforcing social distancing in boats and temporary flood evacuation centres.

“Personal protective equipment (PPE) is compulsory if there are patients under surveillance (PUS) who have to be evacuated during floods before being isolated from other evacuees in the centre,” he said after receiving a drone that will assist in search and rescue operations in Perak at the Taping APM office from an associate officer today.

He said the drone, which can be flown as far as three kilometres and equipped with voice broadcasting, was ready to be used at any time for APM search and rescue operations in Perak.

Roslan said APM has also mobilised its assets for the flood season, with 900 boats of various sizes throughout the country and a lorry that can drive through floodwaters as high as 1.52 metres.

“The assets mobilised would depend on the situation we will use small boats for floods in towns because of the flood depth.

“We also hope to obtain a small three-tonne lorry because a larger sized vehicle would hamper the team’s effort to enter village areas using small lanes and wooded areas,” he said.

Regarding the need for more permanent staff, he said APM planned to submit its request for permanent staff to the Public Service Department because the number of permanent staff in each district was at a minimum and only 20,000 APM volunteers are active throughout the country from a total of two million registered volunteers. — Bernama

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