UMS quarantines 190 students from China
Published on: Friday, February 21, 2020
By: Ottey Peter, Stefyanie Myla Micheal
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KOTA KINABALU: Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) has quarantined 190 of its students from China even though they did not return to their country during the recent Chinese New Year holiday.

UMS Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Taufiq Yap Yun Hin said they are among 352 students from China studying at the university. 

“The rest left the State, including back home to China, during the holiday. They (the 190) are being home-quarantined as a pre-emptive measure, in view of the Covid-19 outbreak, as most of them were visited by their parents who came here from China during the recent Chinese New Year holiday,” he said.  

Despite being quarantined, Dr Taufiq said they still continue their studies. 

“We send them study notes so they won’t miss out the lessons,” he told reporters when asked after delivering the UMS 2020 Mandate ceremony at the UMS Chancellor Building, here, Thursday.

Dr Taufiq said the university has a centralised quarantine procedure in place where they (the students concerned) are asked to stay at home and their conditions monitored daily.

“We check on them daily…so far, they are all well.”

According to Dr Taufiq, 352 of the total 700 international students studying at UMS are from China. 

“This is the largest number, based on nationality, at a public university in the country and, as such, we are concerned and they are being properly managed and cared for.

“Some of them are still in China but we also send notes to them so that they can catch up with the lesson,” he said.

Meanwhile, screening for Covid-19 has already been extended to all domestic flights from the peninsula to Sabah via Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA).

State Health and People's Wellbeing Minister Datuk Frankie Poon said the screening was previously conducted only on international flight passengers.

“I know many among us are worried, but there is no need to worry because all passengers, whether international or domestic flights, will be screened on arrival.

“All international and domestic flight passengers will be screened at the immigration post, including those on transit to Sandakan or Tawau.

“There is no need to conduct screening for domestic air passengers within the State, for example from Kota Kinabalu to Sandakan or Tawau. But some airport management for domestic flights do it on their own initiative,” he said after launching the State National Anti-Drug Month at Dewan Sri Malakun, SMK Limbanak, Thursday.

Poon said all of health officers working on the frontline in the State are equipped and prepared, and know what they are doing.

“They will go to the airport and use a thermos scan to screen especially international passengers,” he said.

According to him, this issue could be minimised to avoid worse situation happening later by emphasising the importance of preventing it from the beginning.

“With that being said, I cannot emphasise more on the importance of the practice of personal hygiene as well as proper face-mask disposal.

“Wearing a face-mask is not sufficient, you have to practise personal hygiene and know how to properly dispose used face-mask.

“When you dispose the used face-mask you touched it, you need to immediately wash your hands properly before touching anything else. This is to avoid any virus or bacteria you have from spreading everywhere,” he said, adding those who do not wear face mask should also wash hands immediately after touching any other things, apart from your own self.



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