M'sia temporarily bars entry of China citizens from Wuhan, Hubei

Modified 27 Jan 2020, 9:26 am

CORONAVIRUS | Malaysia has suspended all immigration facilities for China nationals who originated from Wuhan district and Hubei province, as part of the government's efforts to contain infection of the new coronavirus.

The Prime Minister’s Office in a statement today said the temporary suspension comprise applications for issuance of eNTRY (visa exemption), visa on arrival, e-visa and manual visa.

It further said the decision, to be implemented with immediate effect, was made after taking into account the latest developments surrounding infection of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in China, particularly in Hubei.

"These immigration facilities will be reinstated after the situation has returned to normal.

"Wisma Putra will be coordinating the implementation of this decision with the government of China," the PMO said.

"The government would also like to remind all parties to not spread unverified or false information about the coronavirus, as it could spark unrest among the public,"

The China government has since last week imposed a lockdown on Wuhan, a city of some 11 million people believed to be the centre of the coronavirus outbreak, as well as its neighbouring city Huanggang with a population of some six million people. 

Since detection of the outbreak, various quarters have called on the Malaysian government to impose an entry ban for China nationals, on top of existing screening procedures for other travellers from infected countries.

To date, Malaysia has confirmed four positive cases in Johor - all Chinese nationals - while five individuals suspected of having been infected with coronavirus are in isolation.

Authorities have also detained a family of three after the parents took their two-year-old daughter, suspected of having the disease, out of a hospital against doctors' orders.