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Wuhan virus: Malaysia tightens health screening at all entry points

Wuhan virus: Malaysia tightens health screening at all entry points

Thermal scanners have been placed at the entry points in Malaysia to detect travellers with a fever. (Photo: Facebook/Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is stepping up health screening checks at all entry points into the country, as part of efforts to address the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Malaysia has four confirmed cases of coronavirus, also known as Wuhan virus, to date. 

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Jan 28), Malaysia's director-general of health Noor Hisham Abdullah said that thermal scanners have been placed at the entry points to detect travellers with a fever.

He said that Johor has six entry points, two of which, Bangunan Sultan Iskandar in Johor Bahru by the Causeway and Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar (KSAB) in Tanjung Kupang near the Second Link, serve as land entry points for travellers coming in from Singapore.

KSAB had an average of 3,000 to 3,500 Chinese tourists entering the southern state daily in 2019, the minister added. 

Dr Noor Hisham said he made a visit to KSAB on Monday evening to “see for himself” the measures and protocols that have been put in place. At this entry point, a dedicated immigration lane has been set up to process visitors from China, he added. 

He added that if any travellers were suspected of carrying the virus, they would be checked at health screening rooms and then referred to the medical team handling infectious diseases at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru for further investigations. 

MORE: Our coverage on the Wuhan virus and its developments

Malaysia government on Monday temporarily suspended granting of visas for all residents from China's Hubei province, including its capital Wuhan.

The Ministry of Health on Tuesday released a list of 26 hospitals that will serve as referral hospitals in handling cases of patients under investigation (PUI) and those confirmed with the coronavirus.

Fifteen of the hospitals are in West Malaysia, four in Sabah, six in Sarawak and one in Labuan.

Health authorities in China have announced 106 people have died from the coronavirus as of Tuesday morning, with more than 4,000 cases confirmed nationwide.

The Chinese authorities have placed Wuhan and at least 12 other cities under lockdown to contain the outbreak.

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