Coronavirus: Health Ministry beefs up health screening at all entry points into Malaysia

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a meeting at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex in Johor Baru January 27, 2020. — Picture via Facebook/Noor Hisham Abdullah
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a meeting at the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex in Johor Baru January 27, 2020. — Picture via Facebook/Noor Hisham Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — The Health Ministry has beefed up health screening conducted at all entry points into the country, as part of efforts to address the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said screening measures include the placement of thermal scanners at the entry points to detect travellers with a fever.

He explained that Johor Baru itself had six entry points, two of which comprise Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) and Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar (KSAB) which serve as land entry points for travellers from Singapore. The average number of Chinese tourists who entered the country everyday through KSAB in 2019, was between 3,000 and 3,500.

Dr Noor Hisham made a visit to KSAB yesterday evening “to see for myself, the preparedness measures undertaken by all agencies involved, to detect infected travellers”.

He said this in a statement posted on Facebook today, adding that if any travellers were suspected of having the infection, they would be checked at health screening rooms and referred to the medical team handling infectious diseases at Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Bahru for further investigations.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that a dedicated immigration lane had been established for visitors from China.

According to a report yesterday by Chinese news agency, Xinhua, health authorities in China had announced that 80 deaths and 2,744 cases of pneumonia had been confirmed, with 461 in critical condition, as a result of the new coronavirus first detected in Wuhan.

The Chinese authorities have placed Wuhan and nine other cities under lockdown to contain the outbreak.

As of this morning, four coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Malaysia. — Bernama

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