KLANG: Malaysia will not impose any ban nor will it resort to deporting tourists originating from Wuhan, China, the focal point of the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Instead, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said, the authorities were now focusing on preventive measures, and in the long term, a cure for the new virus.
"It has yet to reach a critical stage here (which warrants drastic measures such as deportation of tourists).
"Currently, we are carrying out checks on tourists arriving in Malaysia. As this is a new virus, we are still not sure about the treatment, so we are focusing on preventive measures.
"They include quarantine of those with the symptoms and staying clear of people suspected of the disease," he said.
The Prime Minister said this after attending the Chinese New Year open house organised by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and the Klang Chinese Chambers of Commerce at the Klang Hokkien Association Building here today.
Dr Mahathir said such measures including health screening of tourists at the country's entry points including airports had been put in place.
On Saturday night the Health Ministry confirmed that a fourth 2019-nCoV virus case had been detected in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the ministry would step up measures including the placement of more thermal scanners at the nation’s entry points.
"We have to comply with the WHO (World Health Organisation) in making decisions," he said.
Dr Zulkefly said a high-level emergency meeting to be would be held later today in Putrajaya to discuss the virus outbreak.
The meeting, to be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, would involve the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).
The deadly virus has spread across Asia, with confirmed cases being reported in several countries.
Chinese authorities are working round-the-clock to stop the spread of the virus by imposing lockdown on its cities involving millions of people and severe travel restrictions.
The airborne-spread virus has claimed 56 lives across China since its outbreak reported on Dec 31, 2019.
While most confirmed case of the virus are in China, the number of coronavirus cases confirmed outside its first epicentre in Wuhan has risen to 14 countries, including Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Cases have also been reported in Japan, South Korean, Thailand, Macau, Singapore, United States, France, Vietnam and Hong Kong.