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Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the decision was made after a state Cabinet meeting yesterday to reduce the risks of exposing people to any possible carriers of the virus. -NSTP/EDMUND SAMUNTING.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has temporarily suspended all flights from China with immediate effect, following outbreak of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the decision was made after a state Cabinet meeting yesterday to reduce the risks of exposing people to any possible carriers of the virus.

Liew, who is also state Tourism, Culture and Environment minister, said although the travel ban might not be well-received by tourism players, the state government would not want to jeopardise the well-being of the people, given the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus epidemic.

"Although this suspension will have repercussions on the state's tourism industry, the government feels the health and wellbeing of Sabahans is more important.

"It is only a temporary suspension and business operations are expected to resume once the situation returns to normal," she said in a statement.

Liew added the state secretary office would inform all airlines operating the China-KK routes about the Government's decision.

"This means that all flights from China will be halted, and there will be no entry for all travellers from the various Chinese cities to Kota Kinabalu during the suspension period."

China Government has already banned its citizens in Wuhan, Xi'an, Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou from travelling abroad.

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