27 January 2020
A total of 164,692 travellers entering Malaysia have been screened by thermal scanners at all entry points as of yesterday.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said following the screenings, nine travellers had been referred to hospitals for further checks.
He said the nine however did not fulfil the Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) criteria such as fever, cough, fatigue and breathing difficulty.
“These travellers were given the health alert card, and if their symptoms became worse, they had to obtain immediate treatment at nearby health facilities,” he said at a press conference after conducting checks at the international entry points at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2 today.
He also said there were no visitors from Wuhan in Malaysia since Jan 23.
On the same day, the Chinese authorities imposed a lock down on Wuhan to prevent residents from leaving the city in the wake of the outbreak of the coronavirus there, he said.
“As for tourist arrivals from China to Malaysia before Jan 23, the Health Ministry will work with the Immigration Department to get the information,” he said.
Dr Dzulkefly also said to further strengthen health screening facility for tourists and Malaysians alike at all entry points nationwide, the ministry had requested 12 additional thermal scanners.
He confirmed that the number of positive Wuhan coronavirus cases in Malaysia stood at four while pending cases, those awaiting results of laboratory tests, numbered five, all involving Chinese nationals.
Of the five, two are in Langkawi, two in Kuala Lumpur and the latest, in Bintulu, Sarawak, he said.
Dr Dzulkefly said the first three positive cases in Malaysia were detected through contact tracing. They were the wife and two grandsons of a 66-year-old Chinese national from Wuhan who is receiving treatment in Singapore.
They had entered Malaysia via Johor.
“The second category are those showing symptoms and are suspected to be infected by the coronavirus.
“Cumulative cases for this (second) category so far are 38 with one of them positive, 32 negative and five awaiting lab results,” he said.
Of the total, he said nine were referred for further screening.
“However, none of them met the criteria for PUI for coronavirus, as prescribed in the protocol for containing the virus,” he said.
Dr Dzulkefly said all incoming travellers were supplied a health alert card whereby if they displayed any symptoms, they were to seek treatment at the nearest health facility.
H also said the Health Ministry would also ensure that healthcare frontliners were safe from exposure to the coronavirus.
He said the ministry constantly reminded doctors, nurses and other medical staff to observe protection equipment requirement such as wearing face masks as well as always use hand sanitizer and frequently wash their hands.
“If any of them show the symptoms, they need to seek immediate treatment. Our frontliners are our asset.”
Dr Dzulkefly also called upon hotel operators to play their role in combating the outbreak by advising their tenants to seek medical treatment at the nearest healthcare facility immediately if they experienced any coronavirus symptoms.
He also said the ministry would continue to monitor the latest situation and updates from the World Health Organisation (WHO).