Petition launched to ban China nationals from entering country

A medical worker attends to a patient in the intensive care unit at Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province. (Xiong Qi/Xinhua via AP pic)

PETALING JAYA: A petition has been started on urging Putrajaya to ban China nationals from entering Malaysia, following the coronavirus outbreak which has claimed 56 lives in the republic.

The petition, which was started yesterday by one Muhammad Zaid Yusran Mohd Zaid, has already gained over 190,000 signatures as of 11.50am.

The petition urges the government to prioritise the health of Malaysians.

“Don’t wait until there is death among Malaysians and only then take some preventive action,” the petition read.

Last night, the health ministry confirmed the fourth case in Malaysia of the new SARS-like virus.

All four victims are from China and are reported to be in stable condition.

The SARS-like virus has infected more than 1,400 people worldwide – the vast majority in China.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Philippine authorities were sending back about 500 Chinese tourists from Wuhan amid concerns over the deadly virus.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s media and communications adviser A Kadir Jasin has since urged the federal government to do the same.

“No visitors from the (China) mainland until the disease is under control. China ought to suffer the consequences of its peculiar eating habits,” he said on Facebook.

Mahathir, however, yesterday said there were no plans yet to restrict or review visas for Chinese tourists but that they would be monitored closely upon arrival.