Cruise ships from China banned, says Azizah
Published on: Monday, February 17, 2020
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PUTRAJAYA: All cruise ships that depart or transit from any ports in China will not be allowed to enter Malaysia for the time being, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic). 

She said the move was a temporary measure to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection following a case involving an American woman who tested positive for the cluster infection on Saturday.

The Government, she said, was aware that the woman, aged 83, was one of 1,455 passengers on the cruise ship MS Westerdam, which had docked in Hong Kong.

“We know the ship stopped in Hong Kong for a night before embarking on a 14-day East Asia voyage on Feb 1.

“So, there is a possibility of contact between the passengers and the Hong Kong people, where some of them may have been exposed to the virus,” she told a media conference on the latest developments of Covid-19, here, Sunday.

Also present was Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad. 

On Saturday, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement, said the woman and her husband were among the 145 passengers on board MS Westerdam that berthed in Cambodia on Feb 13 before arriving in Malaysia the next day.

According to Dr Noor Hisham,  the woman and her husband were found to have symptoms as soon as they landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and were then referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital, where screening tests conducted on them found only the woman tested positive for Covid-19.

On the remaining passengers on MS Westerdam who are still in Cambodia, Dr Wan Azizah said, they would also not be allowed to enter Malaysia as they were close contacts with the American woman who tested positive for Covid-19.

On the health authorities in Cambodia having cleared the passengers of Covid-19, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Malaysian Government had no intention of disputing the results of the tests conducted by Cambodia.

“What we did when they (passengers) arrived here was we screened them as we did to others. This is to protect our people,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dr Wan Azizah said another patient, who is the 15th case involving a Chinese national woman admitted for treatment at Permai Hospital in Johor Baru, had fully recovered and was allowed to return home on Saturday, bringing the total of those who have recovered from the virus to eight.

She said all of them underwent repeat screening test for Covid-19, and on both occasions, their test results were negative.

This means that the number of Covid-19 cases still receiving treatment at the ward is 14 people, she said, adding that no new cases of the cluster were reported Sunday.

The number of Covid-19 cases reported in Malaysia to date remains at 22.


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