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'Banning travellers arriving from India right move'

KOTA BARU: The decision by the Government to bar all travellers arriving from India is the right move in curbing the spread of the new variant of Covid-19 in Malaysia.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali said the action by the government was also for national security.

"The government is really concerned over this issue and worried if those with the new variant enter Malaysia and spread the virus in the country as it has a high infectivity rate," he told reporters after visiting the new Kelantan Covid-19 Vaccine Delivery Centre (PPV) in Tunjong today.

Accompanying him were State Health director Datuk Dr Zaini Hussin and Kota Baru district officer Rosnazli Amin.

Dr Noor Azmi said the ministry would further discuss the issue with the Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC).

"After the meeting, a directive will be issued to all state CPRCs so better control measures on this new variant can be taken in their respective areas," he added.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said yesterday that in an effort to prevent the spread of the new Indian variant of Covid-19 in Malaysia, the government would bar all travellers arriving from India, with the exception of Malaysian citizens, starting Wednesday.

He said the matter was agreed upon during the National Security Council special meeting.

He said the government has given the green light and there would be a temporary ban on flights and transits from India, while ships that have a travel history to India over the past 14 days will not be allowed for sign-off procedures, and there will be no entry for travellers from India except for Malaysian travellers and crew members.

He added Indian foreign workers who hold valid temporary work passes would be barred as well and this also applies to international students and business travellers.

Ismail Sabri said Malaysian students, workers, spouses and children who reside in India would be allowed to return to Malaysia.

The latest variant of the Covid-19, B.1.617, dubbed the "double mutant" variant, was first found in India and subsequently in other countries around the world.

The Covid-19 situation in India has worsened with more than 300,000 new cases and thousands of deaths logged each day.

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