Coronavirus: Sarawak to tighten gateway - Abang Johari

KUCHING (Jan 27): Security at the gateway along the Malaysia-Brunei border at Sungai Tujuh, Miri, in northern Sarawak will be tightened to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Abang Openg said there could be a possibility of tourists from China entering the country through land routes from Sabah and Brunei, before arriving in Miri.

“Officers of all related agencies have been stationed at the Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex in Sungai Tujuh to carry out thorough checks on foreign tourists, especially China nationals, who enter the country through land routes.

“Many Chinese tourists take chartered flights which land in Kota Kinabalu, and then they visit Sarawak,” he said at a press conference held after attending a community programme held at Surau Darul Qarar, Jalan Patingan here today.

He said security at the Kuching International Airport will also be tightened because although there are no direct flights to China, Chinese tourists will fly into Sarawak from Singapore.

In a separate development, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who chaired an emergency meeting of the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (JBPN) today said the state government was looking at new ways of monitoring people who enter Sarawak.

He said an integrated action was needed for the relevant agencies to protect people from the outbreak.

“Assets and equipment at the main gateways will be increased. There will be a briefing session for the main agencies on the action to tackle the Wuhan Coronavirus, and a policy and holistic action plan will be announced on Jan 29,” he said in a statement made after the meeting to discuss the measures needed to tackle the disease here today.

Uggah who is also JPBN chairman advised the public to get immediate hospital treatment if they have symptoms such as coughing or fever.

“The state government views the coronavirus outbreak as serious, it is very dangerous and spreads quickly. So far, there is no vaccine which is specific to treating it,” he said.

To date, a woman in Bintulu is being investigated for the virus, and the state health authorities are waiting for the laboratory report to confirm if she has contracted the coronavirus.

Four cases have been reported in Malaysia, all involving China nationals.

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