KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — Malaysia has temporarily barred entry to South Koreans and foreigners who visited Daegu city and Cheongdo county 14 days before arrival in Malaysia, after South Korea reported over 2,000 novel coronavirus infections.
The ban also covered travellers in transit through Malaysia.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysian citizens, permanent residents, and pass holders (long-term social pass and student pass) who visited Daegu city and Cheongdo county 14 days before arrival in Malaysia must undergo screenings by the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“To increase security at international entry points, the Immigration Department will also prepare special counters for visitors from South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran,” he said in a statement.
He advised Malaysians to postpone trips to places declared as Covid-19 epicentres like in China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, and Iran.
Malaysia’s temporary ban on visitors from Daegu city and Cheongdo county was made in a Covid-19 task force coordinated by the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), involving MOH, the Home Ministry, and the Immigration Department. Malaysia barred Chinese nationals from Hubei province in China last month.
Singapore reportedly decided last Tuesday to ban entry to visitors from South Korea’s Daegu city and Cheongdo county.
CNN reported that South Korea had the biggest coronavirus outbreak outside China with 2,022 cases and 13 deaths. Italy was the worst-hit country in Europe with 650 cases and 17 deaths, while Iran was the worst-hit in the Middle East with 245 infections and 26 fatalities. Japan reported nearly 1,000 coronavirus infections, including 705 cases from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
The novel coronavirus has infected over 83,000 globally and killed more than 2,800 people, mostly in mainland China where it originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Correction: CodeBlue mistakenly reported that Malaysia temporarily barred entry to all visitors from South Korea after the media misunderstood MOH’s press statement. Malaysia has only banned foreign visitors from Daegu city and Cheongdo county.