Fearing Wuhan virus, Sarawak govt prohibits China students from re-entering state after holidays

The state disaster management committee secretariat said the ban, which remains enforced until further notice or an announcement is made, is among the measures being taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus. — Reuters pic
The state disaster management committee secretariat said the ban, which remains enforced until further notice or an announcement is made, is among the measures being taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus. — Reuters pic

KUCHING, Jan 30 — The Sarawak government today disallowed China students, who are studying in the state, from re-entering after their Chinese New Year holidays in their country out of fear that they may be Wuhan coronavirus (2019— nCoV) carriers.

The state disaster management committee secretariat said the ban, which remains enforced until further notice or an announcement is made, is among the measures being taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“Sarawak students, who have been to China, especially Wuhan, and Hubei province during the outbreak of the coronavirus, are advised to undergo self-quarantine at home.” the secretariat said in a statement.

It said those who have visited China recently are advised to undergo self-quarantine at home for at least 14 days or seek medical consultation at the nearest government hospital if they develop symptoms such as coughing and fever.

The secretariat also said that the disaster committee has directed the state Immigration Department to take the lead in monitoring all entry and exit points into Sarawak at the airports, border posts and seaports.

“All visitors or passengers traveling into Sarawak either by air, land or sea must fill in the Health Declaration Form which will be provided to them arrival or while onboard the aircraft, vehicles and vessels,” it said.

It said duly completed forms must be submitted to the immigration officer at the point of entry together with their traveling documents, like passports or identity cards.

“Those who fail to submit the form or provide false information are liable to prosecution,” the secretariat warned, stating that the on-duty immigration officer may refer the visitors or passengers to the on-duty health medical officer, if necessary.

The secretariat said that all completed forms will be surrendered to the Medical Department for purposes of tracking, if the needs arise.