By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Jan 4: Malaysia will not discriminate against any particular nation as the latest Covid-19 measures will apply to all inbound travellers, including those from China and the United States.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the unity government maintained that protecting people’s health takes priority over tourism and economy.
“We will tighten control at immigration (entry points) and (on) foreigners without targeting any country but all (travellers) including countries that saw a surge in infections, like the US and China.
“The requirements will not be loosened for any country including China and we (the government) will continue to monitor the Covid-19 development based on our priority,” he told a press conference after chairing the unity government’s Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya which was broadcast live through Bernama TV today.
According to the Home Ministry, Anwar said, Malaysia recorded 53,000 visitors from China in December alone, out of a total of 336,000 visitors in 2022, but it did not cause a surge in infections as speculated.
“This is what I want to explain to the people. We know there is a surge of infections in China but we are also aware that the number of deaths due to Covid-19 in the US is high as well as in a few other countries.
“We are taking action to save our people. So anyone who enters the country will need to comply with our requirements,” he explained.
Anwar reiterated that control will be tightened but it will not choose which country to impose additional requirements.
“(This is) because we know travellers can be from Indonesia but perhaps they have visited China last month, for example. We don’t want to be hasty in our decisions but most importantly, we will not compromise when it comes to the safety and health of our people,” he emphasised.
On Dec 30, the Ministry of Health (MoH) said screenings will be conducted on all incoming travellers and those showing fever or symptoms will be referred to quarantine centres or health authorities for re-examination. — DayakDaily