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Malaysia to extend travel ban to all Chinese provinces under lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak

Malaysia to extend travel ban to all Chinese provinces under lockdown amid coronavirus outbreak

A workers cleans luggage trolleys during a demonstration for the media of sanitisation operations being used to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on February 4, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will extend its temporary travel ban on Chinese nationals arriving from Hubei province and its capital Wuhan to all other provinces put under lockdown by the Chinese government.  

This came after the confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Malaysia rose to 14 on Thursday (Feb 6), including four Malaysian nationals.

“The Immigration Department will from now impose a travel ban on a province as soon as the Chinese government declares it under lockdown,” Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said in a statement on Thursday night.

Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) chairman, said Malaysia’s border security will also be tightened by adding more thermal scanners and laboratory facilities to quicken test results.

She added that the Foreign Affairs Ministry was making arrangements for the urgent return of 212 non-essential staff members of Malaysia’s embassy and consulate-general offices in China.

READ: Coronavirus outbreak - Malaysia to bring home civil servants from China

The government is also prepared to assist the 34 Malaysians in Wuhan who could not return home on a special flight on Feb 4.

They are unable to leave Hubei now due to the travel ban imposed by the Chinese government, Dr Wan Azizah said.

To date, more than 30,000 coronavirus cases have been recorded across the globe, with more than 600 deaths.

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