Malaysia on high alert after coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan

Thermal scanners at KLIA are on ‘high surveillance mode’ after the corononavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China.

KUALA LUMPUR: Health response teams at all international entry points and health facilities, particularly Kuala Lumpur International Airport, have been placed on high alert following the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

He said thermal scanners and health quarantine centres at the KLIA terminal have been on high surveillance mode.

International media have reported 139 new cases of the new strain of coronavirus over the weekend since it was first detected in December in Wuhan. So far, three people have died in China, and two cases reported in Thailand and one in Japan.

The alert on the Wuhan outbreak comes as Malaysia deals with an outbreak of influenza.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said data was being collated on the outbreak.

Selangor has the highest number of schoolchildren infected with influenza, with 863 cases. Petaling Perdana district has the highest number of cases (231), followed by Klang (154), Petaling Utama (113) and Sepang (102).

In Penang, 226 pupils in 110 primary and secondary schools have been infected to date. Seven female teachers in separate primary and secondary schools were also infected, with four of them receiving hospital treatment.

State education director Abdul Rashid Abdul Samad said a Year Two class at SJKC Kai Chee in Sungai Dua, Butterworth, was closed from today until Jan 26, after four students were infected.

In Perak, a state Education Department spokesman said the number of students infected as of today was 103, up from 99 recorded yesterday.