KUALA LUMPUR: Health authorities here will conduct temperature screening on passengers arriving on flights from Wuhan, China, following a recent outbreak of a mysterious respiratory illness there.
The move came after health authorities in Wuhan confirmed on Tuesday that 27 people had fallen ill with an unknown strain of viral pneumonia with the number rising to 44 as of Friday, with 12 of them in serious condition.
“We will monitor the international entry points to ensure that arrivals from Wuhan go through temperature screening and if a temperature is detected, a second examination will be carried out at the quarantine centre.
“Those suspected of being infected by the illness will be referred to the nearest medical facility, ” the Health Ministry’s Disease Control Division (DCD) said in a statement yesterday.
State health authorities have been directed to immediately provide information to the ministry if a suspected case of the pneumonia is detected among those who have recently visited Wuhan.
The DCD noted that it has yet to receive any new updates on the outbreak in Wuhan as investigations are still being carried out by health authorities in China.
“The World Health Organisation is closely monitoring this event and will share more details in due course, ” the statement added.
Singapore and Vietnam are also carrying out temperature screening on passengers arriving from Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province.
In a statement issued on their website on Friday, health officials from Wuhan have ruled out common respiratory diseases such as influenza, bird flu and adenovirus infections as the cause of the current pneumonia illness.
According to a news report from China, the outbreak was traced to vendors selling pheasants and snakes at a market in Wuhan.
The emergence of the mysterious illness in China has raised the spectre of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) which spread to Hong Kong between 2002 and 2003.