KUALA LUMPUR: Amid a concern over the rise of COVID-19 cases in China, all visitors entering Malaysia will have to undergo temperature screening checks for fever.
Those who are found to have fever, are symptomatic or have self-declared their symptoms will then be sent to a quarantine centre or to the health authorities for further checks.
In a statement on Friday (Dec 30), the country’s Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa also said that those who have been to China within the last 14 days of their arrival into the country will need to go through Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK-Antigen) test.
These samples will then be sent for genome testing if they are found to be positive for Covid-19, Dr Zaliha said.
At the same time, those who have been in close contact with people who have travelled to China in the last 14 days, or exhibit influenza-like illnesses or severe acute respiratory infection will also need to be tested for COVID-19.
Dr Zaliha said the measures were part of Malaysia’s increased surveillance for COVID-19 in the community and for new variants.
The ministry would also run PCR tests on sewage samples from aircraft coming from China, which would be sent for genome sequencing if they were found to be positive.
On Thursday, Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook said Malaysia would see a surge in flight demand following the reopening of China’s borders on Jan 8, three years after the start of the pandemic.
The Malaysia Tourism Agency Association (MATA) on Thursday had urged the government to temporarily suspend the entry of tourists from China until the situation there improves.
MATA president Mohd Khalid Harun was quoted as saying by Bernama that the recent significant surge in COVID-19 cases in China has increased the potential for new COVID-19 variants to emerge, thus causing concern to Malaysians, especially those in the tourism sector.
Mr Khalid also said that many foreign countries have tightened the entry of tourists or businessmen from China for the time being to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in their countries.