KUALA LUMPUR — Jan. 22, 2020: Sabah has assigned staff to conduct health screening at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus which has triggered a global alert.
Tourists from China are among the top three nationalities into Sabah.
The coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China, has caused alarm because of its genetic similarities to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which killed nearly 650 people across mainland China and other countries in 2002-2003.
In China, the government has announced it was classifying the outbreak in the same category as SARS, meaning compulsory isolation for those diagnosed with the disease and the potential to implement quarantine measures on travel.
The official total of people hit by the virus in China so far is 315, with six fatalities, while doctors at the University of Hong Kong yesterday said there had been 1,343 cases of the virus in Wuhan alone.
The World Health Organisation is having an emergency meeting later today to decide whether to declare a global public health emergency over the disease which has also been detected in the United States, Thailand, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.