Sabah suspends all flights from China


With grave concern for the people’s well-being, the state government has decided to suspend all scheduled and chartered flights from China to Sabah with immediate effect until further notice.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew said the decision was made in the interest of the people’s welfare during the State Cabinet meeting on Wednesday (January 29).

She stressed that it was only a temporary move and business operations were expected to resume once the situation returns to normal.

“Although this suspension will have repercussions on the State’s tourism industry, the government is seriously concerned about the health and welfare of Sabahans, and we want to avoid the risk of exposing our people to any possible carrier of the Novel Coronavirus infection.

“This travel ban is a very difficult decision and may not be well-received by our tourism players.

“However, the state has to make sure the well-being of the people is not jeopardised, given the uncertainty in the development of the Novel Coronavirus epidemic,” said Liew, who is also Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, in a statement here, today.

According to her, the State Secretary’s Office would inform all the airlines operating the China-Kota Kinabalu routes, of 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,” she said.

Liew noted that the government of China had already banned its citizens in Wuhan, Xi’an, Beijing, Tianjin and Guangzhou from travelling abroad.

Meanwhile, the Minister assured the public that the state government is closely monitoring the situation.

“The government is constantly being updated by the State Health Department. While there are no identified cases yet in Sabah, we all have to be alert and practice good personal hygiene.

“At the same time, we must keep ourselves abreast of correct information from reliable sources. And please refrain from spreading fake or unverified news,” she advised.