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.
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.