Coronavirus: Malaysia, Singapore to discuss if travel advisory needed, says Dzulkefly

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 11 Feb 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia and Singapore will discuss whether there is a need to impose a travel advisory between the two countries in light of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) situation, says Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

The Health Minister said this would be one of the terms of references in the joint working committee to be headed by the Deputy Health Ministers of Malaysia and Singapore.

“Travel advisory is one of the things we want to discuss in detail to address the current situation, particularly in Singapore where they have changed its status alert to 'Orange', ” he said during a press conference here on Tuesday (Feb 11).

Prior to this, the minister talked to his Singapore counterpart Gan Kim Yong via a video conference attended by 22 officials from both sides.

Singapore’s Health Ministry raised its response to the 2019-nCoV crisis to ‘Code Orange’ because of "heightened risk".

Under the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition or Dorscon,"Orange" means the outbreak is deemed to have moderate to high public health impact.

Singapore has 45 confirmed cases of 2019-nCov as of Feb 10.

So far, only the Sarawak government, which has autonomy over its immigration policies, has issued instructions for those in Sarawak who have been to Singapore to undergo 14 days of self-quarantine at home.

Other areas of focus between Malaysia and Singapore include the sharing of information on public health, medicine and research, as well as the management of screening and cross-border cases.

Dzulkefly said the close relationship and proximity between Malaysia and Singapore meant that the two countries had to work very closely on such matters.

“Not only do we have a strong, historical relationship; we have hundreds of thousands of people travelling between Malaysia and Singapore each day. All the more reason why we need to strengthen our cooperation in managing the 2019-nCoV situation, ” he said.

Meanwhile, he also said there were no new positive 2019-nCoV cases in Malaysia on Tuesday, and as such, the tally remained at 18.

Out of the total, 12 cases involve China nationals while six are Malaysians.

Three of the China nationals have been discharged after showing recovery from the coronavirus.

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