24 Malaysians in Liberia to be moved to Ghana

Samaritan's Purse medical personnel transport a person who died from the Ebola virus in the Case Management Center in Foya, Liberia in this undated handout photo courtesy of Samaritan's Purse.
PHOTO: 24 Malaysians in Liberia to be moved to Ghana

PETALING JAYA - Twenty-four Malay­sians currently living in Liberia will be transported to Ghana as a precautionary measure in view of the worsening Ebola virus outbreak in the country.

Wisma Putra consulate division secretary Datuk Zulkifli Yaacob said all of them are workers at a plantation that is owned by a Malaysian based in Liberia.

He said the order has been issued for the workers to be transported out of Liberia to Ghana with the help of Malaysian High Commission in Accra.

"All the 24 workers are expected to be moved tomorrow. However, it will depend on their visa application which is being handled by our high commission in Accra," he said yesterday.

The workers, he said, would be temporarily based in Ghana until a final decision is made by their company's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, he said when contacted by mStar Online.

On a suggestion that Malaysia halt issuing visas to people coming from the affected areas, Zulkifli said it was not necessary for the time being because the number of arrivals was very small.

Furthermore, he said, there was no direct flight from any of the areas to Malaysia.

He said the move would only be taken if it was directed by the Health Ministry with the agreement of the Home Ministry and the Immigration Department.

In a related development, officials have stepped up surveillance on travellers arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

KLIA health office chief Dr Haji Azmi Haji Abdul Rahim said there was a body temperature scanner at the arrival hall.

"The device will detect anyone with a temperature above 37.5°C," he said.

"For Ebola, we will first see if they have a fever, then once we have them in the quarantine centre we will start to rule out the symptoms," he said.

Azmi said that in cases where aircraft crew members detected sick passengers prior to arrival, they would first have to inform the captain.

"The captain will contact the control tower, which will then speak to the quarantine centre," he said.