The severity of the Coronavirus appears to be steadily increasing day by day as more people fall ill. In fact, there are about 80 deaths reported in regards to the new virus and cases are being reported worldwide. With such a serious virus going round, it is no wonder that we are concerned about it spreading here. Especially since there are already four cases in Johor. Thankfully, the Malaysian Government has announced a travel ban on travellers from affected parts of China.
The Coronavirus Raises Concerns
Just a few days ago, Tun Dr Mahathir announced that there would be no travel ban taking place. This is due to the fact that the virus was not affecting people on such a wide scale at that time. Additionally, authorities were checking travellers coming in for any signs of symptoms. This enabled for them to discover and confirm the patients in Johor.
However, Malaysians were not happy with this decision as many felt that this was too risky. Moreover, Malaysia is a popular tourist destination amongst the Chinese and attracts more than 1 million a year. Furthermore, many have booked their trips thanks to ‘Visit Malaysia 2020’ which aims to pull in about 25 million tourists worldwide.
Demanding for a Travel Ban
As a result of this dissatisfaction, a petition appeared on petition.org urging Putrajaya to ban China nationals from entering the country. Muhammad Zaid Yusran Moh Zaid started the petition and wrote for the Government to prioritise the health of Malaysians. He wrote “Don’t wait until there is death among Malaysians and only then take some preventive action.”
Moving on, today the Government announced that anyone travelling into Malaysia from affected parts of China are banned. All immigration facilities providing manual visas to China nationals will cease operations. This applies to those from Wuhan city and the surrounding Hubei province. It is not clear if this is due to the petition.
Operations will resume once the situation regarding the Coronavirus is under control and it is safe to travel. During this period we need to be aware and cautious. Stay informed and do not spread any misinformation that can cause panic.