Chinese tourists test negative for virus

JOHOR BARU: Eight Chinese tourists who had contact with the man who was confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus have tested negative for the virus.

The eight, who are putting up at a hotel here will, however, be monitored closely by the health authorities for two weeks.

They entered the country on Thursday through Singapore.

Johor Education, Health and Human Resources Committee chairman Aminolhuda Hassan said the tourists, four of them children, were free to move within the hotel compound.

“The tourists are not being quarantined as they are healthy and there is also no need to quarantine the whole hotel or any of its guests and workers.

“We have conducted clinical tests on the eight tourists and they tested negative for the virus, ” he told a press conference yesterday.

Aminolhuda thanked the Singapore Health Ministry for immediately informing Malaysia about the eight Chinese nationals.

“The information channelled by Singapore enabled us to locate the tourists at a hotel, ” he said.

According to reports, a 66-year-old China national from Wuhan had tested positive for the virus in Singapore.

He arrived in Singapore with nine travelling companions on Monday.

Johor Health director Dr Aman Rabu, meanwhile, said the department would further enhance screening at all entry points in the state.He said the screening was carried out at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex on the Causeway and the Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar near the Second Link.

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Singapore had implemented temperature screening at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints yesterday.

According to the republic’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), this is in response to the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan and exported cases to other cities and countries, coupled with the anticipated increase in travel volume in the lead up to the Chinese New Year holiday period.

On its website, ICA said travellers arriving at the land checkpoints will have to undergo temperature screening conducted by on-site healthcare assistants.

“Suspected cases will be referred to hospitals for further assessment, ” it said.

Temperature screening will be implemented progressively for all arriving modes of transport and travellers are advised to follow ICA officers’ instructions.

By bus: Travellers will be screened at the alighting bus concourse or bus hall before immigration counters. Bus drivers will be screened at the security check area.

By train: Travellers will be screened at the alighting platform before entering the train hall for immigration clearance.

By car: Travellers are required to wind down their car windows for temperature screening at the security check area before immigration counters.

By motorcycle: Travellers are required to remove their helmets for temperature screening at the security check area after immigration counters.

By lorry: Travellers will be screened at the cargo platforms or immigration counters.

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