Malaysia not in a rush to reopen its borders to 'green states', says Health DG

  • Nation
  • Friday, 26 Jun 2020

PUTRAJAYA: Although discussions have begun with other countries, Malaysia is not in a rush to reopen its borders to “green states” as it needs to monitor the Covid-19 situation better.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said discussions are ongoing with other countries but they are still at an early stage, and no deadline has been set.

With a recent rise in the number of import cases, Dr Noor Hisham agreed that there is a concern on lifting its border restrictions too soon.

“The fear is there. Certainly, one of the contributors to our success story (in managing Covid-19) is our decision to tighten our border control.

“We need to discuss this matter thoroughly with the other countries.

“We have not come up with a conclusive plan or strategy yet. At the moment, it is still early and we have not set a date (on when borders can be reopened). What’s more important is that we monitor the situation in the other countries.

“At the same time, we also want to strike a balance between life and livelihood, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference here Friday (June 26).

Earlier, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said at the 36th Asean Summit that Asean governments must quickly come up with a cohesive plan to implement “travel bubbles” between “green” member states.

Muhyiddin said easing travel restrictions between countries with low Covid-19 infections can help shore up investments and create job opportunities for people in the region.

On Friday, Malaysia recorded six new Covid-19 cases, of which five are import cases involving individuals who were infected abroad and had arrived in the country.

Four cases are Malaysians who have returned from Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the United Kingdom.

Another case is of a Russian who came into the country for work purposes.

Malaysia has allowed domestic travel to resume but tourists from abroad are still banned from entering the country.

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