PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will bar travellers from South Korea, including those who have been to COVID-19 outbreak epicentres Daegu and Cheongdo in the last 14 days, said Malaysia's Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Feb 28).
The move takes effect immediately and comes after two new cases were confirmed in the country, health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a press release.
Malaysians, permanent residents, and long-term social visit pass and student pass holders who have travelled to Daegu city or Cheongdo area in the last 14 days would have to undergo health screening.
There would also be separate immigration counters for travellers from South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran at border checkpoints.
"MOH continues to diligently monitor developments in COVID-19 cases in South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran, as well as other countries that have confirmed coronavirus cases," said Dr Noor Hisham.
Malaysians are also advised to defer travel to South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran. A previous advisory to avoid travelling to places designated as coronavirus outbreak areas in China remains in effect.
"Malaysian authorities will continuously evaluate current efforts to control and eradicate the COVID-19 outbreak. The measures will be cancelled should the situation normalises," added Dr Noor Hisham.
NEW CASES TRAVELLED TO JAPAN, INDONESIA, ITALY
Two new coronavirus cases were confirmed on Friday, bring the total number of cases to 25.
Case 24 is a 41-year-old Japanese woman who works in Malaysia. She travelled to Japan in January and Indonesia in early February.
The woman had fever and received medical treatment Feb 17, was hospitalised on Feb 20 and tested positive for the coronavirus on Thursday.
She is ward in an isolation room at Hospital Kuala Lumpur.
Case 25 is a 45-year-old Italian man who lives in Malaysia. He travelled to Italy from Feb 15 to Feb 21.
The man began showing symptoms of fever, cough and body aches on Feb 22, and was receiving outpatient treatment between Feb 23 and Feb 25.
He tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday, and is warded in an isolation room at Hospital Sungai Buloh.
One more coronavirus patient is still being treated in Malaysia, while 22 other cases have been discharged from the hospital.