KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Malaysia will temporarily restrict the entry of visitors from parts of South Korea due to the global Covid-19 virus outbreak, and will also set up special immigration counters dedicated to visitors from the countries of South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran which have experienced a spike in Covid-19 infections.
Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said a working committee involving multiple government agencies to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak had decided on these measures after taking into account the current status of the Covid-19 outbreak.
“Temporary entry restrictions on all South Korean visitors from Daegu city and Cheongdo country, including foreigners that had been at these city and county within 14 days before arrival in Malaysia. This covers visitors transiting through Malaysia.
“Malaysians, permanent residents and pass holders (long-term social visit pass and student pass) that had been at Daegu city and Cheongdo district within 14 days before entry to Malaysia need to undergo health screening by Malaysia’s Health Ministry,” he said.
He said it was also decided that the Immigration Department will be setting up special counters for visitors from South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran in order to enhance control at all international entry points of the country.
Dr Noor Hisham said all these measures will be effective immediately.
In a separate subsequent Facebook post, Dr Noor Hisham clarified that the ruling to deny entry did not apply to all South Koreans, but only to South Koreans from the lockdown city of Daegu and Cheongdo County and foreign nationals who had been in these areas within the last 14 days.
Yesterday, the Health Ministry added the countries of South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran as countries where Malaysians are advised to defer travel to, on top of previous travel advisories against visits to cities or districts in China declared as Covid-19 hotspots.
In his statement earlier today, Dr Noor Hisham advised the public to inform medical practitioners of their travel history if they exhibit symptoms of the Covid-19 infection within 14 days of their return from China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran.
The Health Ministry also said the public could contact the National Crisis and Preparedness Response Centre (CPRC) for further explanation or information regarding Covid-19 at the telephone numbers of 03-8881 0200, 03-8881 0600 or 03-8881 0700, or at the email address [email protected].
* An earlier version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.