The Malaysian Government has been urged to tighten COVID-19 control measures to prevent a possible large-scale spread of the disease when the country welcomes tourists from China.
|A medical worker takes samples for COVID-19 testing for people in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo: AFP/VNA) |
Kuala Lumpur – The Malaysian Government has been urged to tighten COVID-19 control measures to prevent a possible large-scale spread of the disease when the country welcomes tourists from China.
Prof. Dr. Sharifa Ezat Wan Puteh, a public health expert at the Faculty of Medicine under the National University of Malaysia, said that the government needs to consider the current developments of the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent its variants that have not been detected in the country
She said that the possibility of new variants entering the country is high, especially when the Lunar New Year Festival is approaching, which adds difficulty to control the disease.
Public Health Organisation Malaysia advisor Dr. Datuk Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said it is not necessary to impose restrictions on tourists from China.
However, Malaysia’s Ministry of Health and airline companies must conduct strict surveillance such as vaccination certificates or COVID-19 testing results with PCR testing is preferable.
He called on the government to ensure that more and more people in the country receive COVID-19 booster vaccine doses.
The Health Ministry earlier announced that all visitors to the country will have to have their body temperature checked at the border. Those who are found to have a fever, or symptoms or are infected with COVID-19 will be referred to a quarantine centre or health authority for further testing.
Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa said that all travellers who have been to China within 14 days of arriving in Malaysia will have to undergo RTK-Antigen testing and samples will be sent for a genomic test if they are tested positive for COVID-19.
For the last week, the number of new COVID-19 infections per day in Malaysia has decreased significantly, only ranging from 400-500 cases, but there are still a few deaths.
Since May 1, Malaysia has lifted the mandatory testing requirement for all travellers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. It is not mandatory to wear a mask indoors, except on public transport and medical facilities, while social distancing measures are removed.
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