5 February 2020
The government has assured visitors from China that it will only be denying entry to those from Wuhan city and Hubei province – the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
A total of 147 Chinese nationals from these areas have been turned away since Jan 27.
Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said of the 147 who were denied entry, 30 had tried to cross into the country via the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (KSAB) near Gelang Patah on Jan 28.
Muhyiddin said another 32 were barred from entering via Port Klang on Jan 29, followed by another 33 at the same gateway on Monday.
The rest were 14 who were turned away at klia2 and another six at the Sandakan International Airport, both on Jan 28, six at Penang International Airport on Jan 30 and five from Tawau airport on Jan 29.
“The Immigration Department, which is under the Home Ministry, has carried out the action based on the decision made by the Health Ministry,” he told reporters during his visit to the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex here yesterday.
The government had earlier halted all immigration facilities, including issuing visas, to Chinese citizens from Wuhan and areas around Hubei province following the outbreak.
The Prime Minister’s Office had said that the decision was made to contain the spread of the virus.
Muhyiddin said despite the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) announcement of a global health emergency last week, the body had not asked countries to totally clamp down on the arrival of Chinese nationals from other areas.
He also said there was a need to have more temperature screenings available at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar complex as the checkpoint was one of the busiest gateways, seeing 70% of visitors into the country.