COVID-19: Malaysia bars travellers from Italy, Iran, South Korea


Malaysia is imposing entry bans on travellers from Italy, Iran and South Korea, effective Friday (March 13) following the COVID-19 outbreak in these countries.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the decision was made at the first Cabinet meeting of the Perikatan Nasional government today after taking into account the current status of the COVID-19 virus transmission.

The ban also applies to other foreigners visiting these three countries or transiting at any entry point,” he said. 

He said this after a visit to the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT) here, which has been temporarily converted into a quarantine centre for the 66 Malaysians citizens and their non-citizen spouses and children who arrived home from Wuhan, China on Feb 26.

Also present were Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah  and National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) director-general Datuk Mohtar Mohd Abd Rahman.

Dr Adham said Malaysians, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who arrived from Italy, Iran and South Korea would also be subjected to a 14-day observation at home under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

This move is also effective Friday, March 13.

He said the ban on those coming from Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu in China and Hokkaido in Japan was still in force.

 Meanwhile, Dr Adham said a fund, managed by NADMA, was launched to assist individuals who tested positive for the virus and have to be hospitalised or were forced to undergo the 14-day home surveillance.

“Each individual without a steady income or no salary during the process would be paid RM100 a day for the 14-day period,” he said

Asked whether the government would carry out the Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission  in the three countries to bring back Malaysians, Dr Adham said those working overseas could return home and undergo quarantine here.

On the possibility of the government carrying out a third mission to Wuhan to bring back the remaining Malaysians there, he said they would study Wisma Putra’s proposal.

Earlier, Dr Adham was briefed on the operations and management of persons under investigation (PUI) for COVID-19 infection at AKEPT.

The 68 Malaysians and their non-citizen families including two Malaysian embassy officials (in Beijing) who were quarantined for 14 days, beginning Feb 26 were allowed to go home today after testing negative for COVID-19.