Stringent screening of visitors to Johor

PHOTO: Screengrab/The Star/Asia News Network

KULAI - China tourists and tour operators entering Johor are now required to follow stringent health regulations, due to the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

State tourism, women, family and community development committee chairman Liow Cai Tung, who disclosed this, said the ruling also covered Malaysians returning from China.

She said the decision was made following a meeting between the Johor Health Department, Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry and the Malaysian Chinese Tourism Association.

"Anyone coming from China is now required to give his or her health information before coming here.

"Once they arrive in Johor through our 12 checkpoints, they are required to go through another health screening. Anyone who shows symptoms of the disease will be quarantined immediately, " she told reporters during a visit to the Senai International Airport with state education, health and human resources committee chairman Aminolhuda Hassan yesterday.

She said the state government's main concern would be during the Chinese New Year celebrations as thousands of Malaysians living and working abroad were expected to come home.

"There is only one direct flight from Senai International Airport to Guangzhou in China but we do not know if the traveller might have transited from other Chinese cities including Wuhan.

"That is why it is important for the authorities here to conduct health screening on every traveller coming from China, " she said.

Aminolhuda said the state Health Department has placed health screening devices at all 12 entry points into Johor including at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, the Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at the Causeway and at the Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar at the Second Link.

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He said the department was monitoring the World Health Organisation's reports on the outbreak, adding there were no such cases reported in the state so far.

Among the countries that have detected the disease are Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and United States.

In Kota Kinabalu, health officials have been placed at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport due to the coronavirus scare.

State Health and People's Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said efforts were being taken to prevent the spread of this virus to Sabah.

Chinese tourists are among the top three visitors to Sabah.