No restrictions on food imports from China, says agriculture minister

People buy groceries at a supermarket in Kuala Lumpur January 25, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana
People buy groceries at a supermarket in Kuala Lumpur January 25, 2018. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

MARANG, Jan 31 — There are no restrictions on the import of food from China so far, although the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a public health emergency following global concerns over the 2019 novel coronavirus infection.

Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub, however, said the ministry through the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (Maqis) would conduct periodical inspections of food from China at all Malaysian entry points as a precautionary measure.

“The Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry (MoA) to also play a role to tighten our entry points.

“Among the items we import (from China) are chicken cuts, some selected fruits and vegetables but all are virus free (coronavirus). This virus is transmitted from person to person so let us not be brutal on import restrictions, unless there is a new study and we will take appropriate action,” he said.

He was met by reporters after handing over assistance to a participant in the ‘Rezeki Tani’ programme in Kampung Rusila, here today.

WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at a press conference on the Emergency Committee Meeting held in Geneva today, declared a public health emergency following global concerns over coronavirus infection.

Meanwhile, during the ‘Rezeki Tani’ programme, Salahuddin visited the fertigation cucumber farm of local farmer Zuliadin Abdullah, 50, who had been wheelchair-bound for the past eight years due to gout.

Salahuddin said the ministry through the ‘Rezeki Tani’ programme had approved a grant of RM9,000 to Zuliadin to buy farm equipment.

He said 1,000 participants were expected to benefit from the ‘Rezeki Tani’ programme for 2019 and 2020, involving an allocation of RM10 million.’ — Bernama

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