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Returning Malbatt 850-7 force to undergo 14-day Covid-19 quarantine, says Defence Force chief

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Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang speaks to reporters outside Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang speaks to reporters outside Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur February 28, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — The Malaysian Battalion 850-7 (Malbatt 850-7) peacekeeping force who will return home from their assignment in Lebanon next month will undergo the 14-day quarantine to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang said members of the Malaysian Battalion 850-8 (Malbatt 850-8) who would be leaving to replace the returning team would also undergo quarantine before departure.

He said ATM had provided the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and quarantine locations in Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan for the returning force to ensure no infection before they are allowed to return to their respective units.

“When they live in an area like their camps in Lebanon, they are not infected but this step is necessary,” he told reporters during a special interview with the Chief of Defence Force in conjunction with the 87th ATM Day at Wisma Pertahanan, here, today.

The media previously reported that the first batch of Malbatt 850-7 team left for Lebanon on October 1 last year to join the United Nations Interim Force (Unifil) peacekeeping mission for a year.

Affendi said ATM would continue to send peacekeepers to Lebanon as until now there was no statement or plan from the UN Department for Safety and Security to withdraw Unifil from the country.

“Malaysia as one of the UN member countries is always supportive and ready to join the UNIFIL peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, as long as it is needed by the Unifil headquarters and the UN Department for Safety and Security,” he said.

According to ATM, the return of the Malbatt 850-7 force will be done in four groups with each arriving in the country on October 2, October 16, October 30 and November 16.

The deployment of Malbatt 850-8 force to Lebanon will also be implemented in four stages, namely on October 1, October 14, October 29 and November 15. — Bernama

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