Fourteen Chinese nationals from Wuhan in Hubei province, who arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) on Tuesday, were sent back.
This was undertaken following the announcement of the Malaysian government’s decision to ban tourists originating from Wuhan and Hubei province, from entering Malaysia as a measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus first detected in Wuhan, in December.
Home Affairs Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the immigration department had issued a ‘Not To Land’ notice to all tourists from Wuhan.
“A document check undertaken by immigration officers at KLIA found that the 14 individuals were from Wuhan, China. Following that, the officers issued the ‘Not To Land’ notice to all the individuals, and they were then sent back,” he said to reporters at Bukit Aman today.
The minister said the action taken was in accordance with standard operating procedures which dictate that all tourists originating from Wuhan and Hubei province are prohibited from gaining admission into Malaysia through all entry points.
Muhyiddin said border security had also been tightened in view of the fact that Malaysia had a long boundary.
“We are faced with the admission of many foreign tourists at every entry point. They will go through (health) screening,” he said, adding that foreigners who entered the country illegally would face action under the Immigration Act.
The minister also urged the public not to twist information and spread false news about the virus on social media.
“I have been informed that seven cases involving the spread of fake news about the virus, have been acted upon by the police with the cooperation of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).
“People should understand that in a critical situation like this, they should not be playing with false news as such acts can create panic and fear among the public,” Muhyiddin said.
Asked about whether those behind the dissemination of false news were from specific groups, he said they were ordinary citizens who were not linked to any group.