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04 Feb 2020 | 06:37 AM UTC

Malaysia: Authorities stop issuing visas to Chinese nationals from Hubei Province amid coronavirus outbreak January 27

Malaysia establishes new travel restrictions for passengers coming from Hubei Province beginning January 27; further spread of coronavirus expected

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MYS

Event

On Monday, January 27, Malaysia officials announced they will stop issuing visas for Chinese nationals from Hubei Province effective immediately to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The government has not stated how long the ban will be in effect.

Ten 2019-nCoV cases have been confirmed in Malaysia to date.

Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of 2019-nCoV was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in 23 countries worldwide besides China, as well as in Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. Virus screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the ongoing novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak is a "public health emergency of international concern."

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Potentially impacted individuals are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries and consider rebooking options, if needed, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Potentially impacted individuals are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries and consider rebooking options, if needed, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments. Individuals in Hong Kong are also advised to confirm doctor's appointments, to anticipate longer waiting times in medical facilities for the duration of the strike, and to avoid any protests.

  • Individuals are advised to take precautionary measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus:
  • Avoid all contact with animals (dead or alive); avoid eating animal products that are undercooked; avoid all markets where animals are sold
  • Avoid all close contact with people displaying symptoms of the disease (e.g. difficulties breathing)
  • Frequently wash hands, wear a face mask
  • Individuals within China developing symptoms of pneumonia are advised to seek medical attention, avoid contact with other people, and wash hands regularly
  • Adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments