Coronavirus: Govt yet to decide on barring all flights from China, says Loke

SEREMBAN: The Government has not decided if it will ban all flights from China and has only imposed a temporary ban on Chinese citizens from Wuhan and the surrounding Hubei province following the coronavirus outbreak, says Anthony Loke.

The Transport Minister said although the World Health Organisation (WHO) had declared the outbreak as a global emergency late Thursday (Jan 30), the Government could not ban all flights from China yet as this could lead to other implications.

He said that there were many Chinese nationals still in Malaysia.

"Similarly, we also have many Malaysians who are in China who may want to come home.

"So, we will continue to monitor developments in China and the Cabinet will make a decision at the appropriate time," he told reporters when met at the Land Office here Friday (Jan 31).

"The Health Ministry has taken measures for prevention and control of the coronavirus outbreak and will continue to monitor the situation.

"They will also continue to monitor airport arrivals from other parts of China for the time being," he said.

As of Friday morning, 213 deaths had been reported in China. Coronavirus cases have also been reported in at least 18 countries.

WHO said it was concerned about the virus spreading to countries that did not have the resources to deal with it.

Loke said that only the Sabah government had temporarily suspended all scheduled and chartered flights from China.

"Chinese nationals flying in from the republic are now not allowed to enter Sabah.

"We at the federal level will continue to monitor all other entry points into Malaysia," he said.

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