No reason to shut international borders for now, says health minister

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PENDANG: There is no reason to shut international borders for now since there are no positive Covid-19 cases detected among travellers arriving in Malaysia, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said.

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She said there was a steady downward trend of new Covid-19 transmissions nationwide, with less than 500 new cases reported daily.

“We have recorded the arrival of more than 4,000 visitors from China since Jan 8, and the number has increased to over 7,000 visitors daily.

“We did not detect a single case of Covid-19 infection or anyone with symptoms at our entry points,” she said at the handing over ceremony of Pendang Hospital by Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi today.

“Actually, the number of Covid-19 screenings is quite high. In fact, we are carrying out more than 10,000 screenings on a daily basis.

“This shows that the level of awareness among the people, especially among those with symptoms, is high but the number of positive cases is declining.

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“This is a sign that the Covid-19 situation in our country is under control.

“I believe, insyaAllah (God willing) there is no reason for us to shut our borders,” she said.

Yesterday, public health expert Dr Hanafiah Bashirun urged the government to consider shutting down international borders to contain the transmission of new Covid-19 subvariant.

He reportedly said that the government’s proposal to boost Covid-19 screening at the country’s entry points would not guarantee as a safe option, as it had forced the government to enforce the Movement Control Order in the past.

The first Covid-19 cases reported in the country on Jan 25, 2020, involved three travellers from China who entered Malaysia from Singapore via Johor.-NST


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