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Sabah Health and People's Wellbeing Minister, Datuk Frankie Poon (center) and State Health Director, Datuk Dr. Christina Rundi (right) doing inspection at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in the wake of Wuhan outbreak. - NSTP/courtesy of Sabah Health and People's Wellbeing Ministry
Sabah Health and People's Wellbeing Minister, Datuk Frankie Poon (center) and State Health Director, Datuk Dr. Christina Rundi (right) doing inspection at Kota Kinabalu International Airport in the wake of Wuhan outbreak. - NSTP/courtesy of Sabah Health and People's Wellbeing Ministry

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah authorities have heightened preventive measures at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport following the outbreak of novel coronavirus in the central city of Wuhan in China.

State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said the airport had switched to high alert mode, and every passenger and crew member on international flights to Sabah would be screened using thermal scanners.

“With the Chinese New Year approaching, many locals residing abroad will return to celebrate the occasion with their families. Many tourists (especially from China) are also expected to come to Sabah.

“Therefore, extra vigilant measures are necessary in view of the recent outbreak of coronavirus,” he said in a statement, after visiting the airport with Sabah Health director Datuk Christina Rundi to inspect the facilities and procedures.

State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said the airport had switched to high alert mode, and every passenger and crew member on international flights to Sabah would be screened using thermal scanners. - NSTP/Courtesy of Sabah Health and People's Wellbeing Ministry
State Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said the airport had switched to high alert mode, and every passenger and crew member on international flights to Sabah would be screened using thermal scanners. - NSTP/Courtesy of Sabah Health and People's Wellbeing Ministry

At press time, the coronavirus disease has killed 17 and more than 500 are infected by the deadly virus.

The screening process, which has been taking place since Jan 4, is made as soon as people come out from the aerobridge before leaving for clearance at the immigration counters.

Poon added that passengers who show symptoms of coronavirus would be immediately put in an isolation room to contain the spread of the virus.

“The public is very concerned about the coronavirus, but so far, there are no reported cases of the virus in Sabah.

“We advise them not to panic, but be vigilant and adopt preventive measures daily such as wearing a proper face mask, washing their hands regularly with soap and clean water, and avoiding overcrowded places.”

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