PM : No plans yet to ban China tourists despite coronavirus infection cases

Radzi Razak
A woman with a mask passes by a thermal screening point at the international arrival terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang January 21, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 — Malaysia will not block individuals from China from entering the country despite reports of more people being infected globally by the coronavirus. 

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that while there are risks of people being infected here, the government has set up extended screening procedures at airports and other places.

“We will not block (China’s tourists) but we will check them we will make sure. 

“We are able to detect very early stages (of the virus) even if there is no increase in their temperature but there is evidence they suffer from this virus,” he told reporters at a press conference after attending the Chinese New Year Celebration at the Kuala Lumpur — Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here today.

Dr Mahathir also admitted that Visit Malaysia Year 2020 might have taken a setback with Coronavirus effect, but it is understood that China t is doing their bid to contain the measure.

This he said including cordoning all 11 million inhabitants of Wuhan, capital of Hubei province which the virus originated from.

“Yes, I believe that among the biggest tourists that will visit our country this year will be from China.

“With the Chinese government having this problem, some of them could not even get out of the country. In Wuhan they quarantine the whole city. 11 million people could not go in and out,” he said.

Meanwhile Mahathir also said the three infected Chinese National currently receiving treatment for Coronavirus in Sungai Buloh hospital is going to be quarantine and monitored by Malaysia government for the meantime.

“They will not be sent home yet, they will be quarantined,” he said.

Earlier today, The Ministry of Health confirmed that three Chinese nationals in Malaysia have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The ministry was informed by their counterparts in Singapore that a family of five consisting of a man and wife, their son, daughter-in-law and two children aged two and 11 were travelling into Malaysia through Johor.

Those who have been confirmed to have contracted the virus are the two children and their grandfather, and they have now been quarantined at the Sungai Buloh Hospital for further treatment.

Malaysia Airports Berhad meanwhile has taken extra measures to screen international passengers at its gateway airports across the nation including thermal screenings in light of the Coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China.

In a press statement today, it said that it is working closely with the Health Ministry as well as the relevant agencies and airlines to minimise the risk of exposure to everyone, particularly the passengers and staff working at the terminals.

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