Malaysia responds to China’s lifted Covid restrictions with plans to tighten borders

Malaysia is responding to China’s recently lifted Covid-19 restrictions with plans to tighten its borders. The Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, announced the country’s plans as fears mount over another Covid wave due to China. According to the Straits Times, the Cabinet is choosing to prioritise health over the economy.

“We will control and tighten (our borders) even more, including (travellers) from the US and China.”

Anwar says the current plans are not biased against any particular nation, despite his statement mentioning the US and China. He says that tightening the country’s borders was for all travellers, not just China. But, the Malaysian Medical Association urged the government to test all Chinese visitors for Covid before being allowed to enter the country. MMA’s president Muruga Raj Rajathurai, says the health ministry should only allow fully-vaccinated Chinese visitors who test negative via an RT-PCR test to enter.

“We are acting to save our people. We will not choose (which countries to impose additional restrictions) because we know travellers (with Covid) can come from anywhere. We don’t want to be hasty.”

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Anwar also urged the public to get their second Covid booster shots. The health ministry also announced that all visitors must undergo temperature tests. If found to have a fever, Covid symptoms or self-declared Covid, the visitors will be referred to a quarantine centre or further examinations by health authorities.

Those who have travelled to China within the last 14 days will also be subjected to an RTK-Antigen test with samples sent for genome testing if the results are positive for Covid. Those who have been in close contact with those who have travelled to China within the past 14 days must also follow the same protocol as well as those who are symptomatic.

The ministry also says it will run PCR tests on sewage samples from aircraft arriving from China. For those making border runs to Malaysia from Thailand or other neighbouring countries, it is best to be prepared to undergo Covid tests with the possibility of having to enter a quarantine facility.

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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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