International SOS successfully evacuated two patients from two client companies on the same commercial flight during COVID-19. They flew from Kenya to Kuala Lumpur.
The first patient, employed by a Malaysian company and based in Monrovia, Liberia, was diagnosed with pneumonia. After being discharged from the local hospital, he was kept on an oxygen concentrator at home. The patient’s colleague contacted us, which raised a red flag, as the patient’s condition required continued hospitalisation.
The second patient was also working for a Malaysian company. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was initially admitted to a private hospital in South Sudan. The patient was then transferred to Kenya, where he was hospitalised for over one month. A commercial flight was organised to evacuate both patients. However, there were a number of challenges faced. For example, there was a limited number of commercial flights during the pandemic, and government approvals were needed.
After speaking to our medical team, the first patient was medically evacuated with upgraded care to Kenya via Air Ambulance. After being hospitalised there for two weeks and showing signs of improvement, he was evacuated via commercial business class. He took the flight with an escort nurse arranged by the Johannesburg Assistance Centre.
The second patient's evacuation was organised on the same commercial flight with an escort nurse from our Johannesburg team. The flight from Kenya to Kuala Lumpur was without incident. It resulted in a successful handover between the escort nurse (Kenyan national) and the Kuala Lumpur medical team. This took place at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) arrival gate in the Satellite Building.
The impact was very positive. Both patients arrived safely at Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur. We were able to ensure business continuity and peace of mind to our clients.