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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

KOTA KINABALU: The Health Ministry is investigating a case of what appears to be a suspected coronavirus infection in the country.

It was reported today that a man was rushed to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).

According to Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, initial reports said that the patient apparently had influenza flu-like symptoms.

“(For now), there is no evidence of coronavirus, but we are still investigating,” he told the New Straits Times.

Earlier today, Sabah authorities announced that the KKIA had switched to high alert mode.

Airline crew members and visitors are now required to undergo screenings upon arrival on international flights at the aerobridge before going for Immigration clearance.

Passengers who show symptoms of coronavirus infection would immediately be placed in an isolation room to contain the spread of the virus.

Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon and state Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi visited the KKIA today following the installation of the thermal screening devices at 3am.

It is also learned that a commercial direct flight AK2139 from Wuhan arrived at 3.55am.

AirAsia currently services direct flights between Kota Kinabalu and Wuhan.

It was earlier reported that the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport and the city’s mass transit system would be suspended indefinitely to contain the spread of the disease.

Departures at railway stations and the airport would also be temporarily put on hold, and authorities urged people to refrain from leaving Wuhan unless they had a “special reason.”

The official death toll had risen to 17, and more than 570 people have been confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus.

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