Ministry beefs up health screening at all entry points

The health ministry says Johor Bahru itself has got six entry points into Malaysia. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The health ministry has beefed up screening at all entry points into the country as part of efforts to address the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said screening measures include the placement of thermal scanners at the entry points to detect travellers with fever.

He said Johor Bahru had six entry points, two of which – Bangunan Sultan Iskandar (BSI) and Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar (KSAB) – serve as land entry points for travellers from Singapore. The average number of Chinese tourists who entered the country everyday through KSAB in 2019 was between 3,000 and 3,500.

Noor Hisham visited KSAB yesterday evening to monitor the measures to detect infected travellers, he said in a Facebook post today.

He said travellers suspected of having the infection would be checked at health screening rooms and referred to the medical team handling infectious diseases at Hospital Sultanah Aminah in Johor Bahru for further investigations.

He also said a dedicated immigration lane had been established for visitors from China.

According to a report yesterday by Chinese news agency Xinhua, health authorities in China had announced that 80 deaths and 2,744 cases of pneumonia had been confirmed, with 461 in critical condition, as a result of the new coronavirus first detected in Wuhan.

The Chinese authorities have placed Wuhan and nine other cities under lockdown to contain the outbreak.

As of this morning, four coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Malaysia.