42 denied entry to Sarawak in bid to contain spread of coronavirus

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

KUCHING, Feb 7: The Sarawak Immigration Department has refused entry to a total of 42 visitors from Feb 1 to 7 am this morning as a preventive measure to contain the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.

The screenings were done at the Kuching International Airport, the Sibu, Bintulu, Miri and Mulu Airports and at the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) at Biawak, Sungai Tujoh and Mengkalap.

State Disaster Management Committee in a press statement explained that these visitors were refused entry as their passports had indicated that they had been in China within the last 14 days.

Of the total, 22 were Chinese nationals (10 males and 12 females), seven from Hong Kong, six from Indonesia, four from Brunei and one each from Great Britain, Japan and Singapore.

Meanwhile the State Health Department had recorded six new Patients Under Investigation (PUI) cases by 10.30 am today.

Five of them are at the Sarawak General Hospital and one at the Bintulu Hospital.

The new cases bring a total accumulative cases of PUI cases from January 10 and until this morning.

So far, 34 cases had tested negative for the coronavirus while laboratory results are still pending for the 12 which include the latest six cases.

The Health Department advises people to observe the highest standard of health through some basic measures.

“People must cover their mouths and nose with tissue papers when coughing or sneezing. The used tissue papers must be disposed off in the rubbish bin.

“People must wash their hands with soap or hand sanitizer after coughing or sneezing.

“Such proper coughing or sneezing etiquette or habit must be observed at all times.

“People are advised to use a face mask when communicating with others.

“People must take care of their personal cleanliness at all times,” said State Health Department.

The department also advises those who fell sick with fever, coughing and difficulty in breathing within 14 days after visiting China to report to nearest hospitals.

“They should inform the doctors attending to them of their travelling history.”

All doctors, whether they are from government hospital or clinic and those in the private practice, must notify the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) of the State Health Department immediately if they come across any suspected case.

They can do this by emailing to cprc_sarawak@moh.gov.my or call its telephone number 082-443248. —DayakDaily