KOTA KINABALU: Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) has been put on high alert mode in the wake of the Wuhan novel coronavirus outbreak.
International flight passengers entering Sabah are scanned using thermal scanners that have been set up at the airport.
Minister of Health and People’s Well-being Sabah Datuk Frankie Poon was at KKIA at 3am this morning to inspect the facilities and procedures of the Health Ministry at the airport.
He was accompanied by Sabah Health Director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi, and her officers from the Sabah Health Department during the visit.
“The public are very concerned with the outbreak of coronavirus and I want to know firsthand and to experience the inspection procedures to ensure that every international passenger and crew members are duly scanned by the thermal scanners at the KKIA before immigration clearance.
“In fact, we started screening at the disembarking point after the aerobrige before the immigration clearance areas for flights from Wuhan effective Jan 4, 2020,” said Poon in his Facebook post this morning.
He said as Chinese New Year is approaching, It is expected that there will be many Sabahans returning from overseas to celebrate the festival with their friends and families.
“There will also be many overseas visitors coming to Sabah (especially those from China). Therefore, these extra vigilant measures are necessary in view of the recent outbreak of coronavirus,” he added.
According to Poon, isolation will be carried out immediately once a passenger with suspicious conditions has ben detected in order to prevent or avoid the spread of the virus.
Currently, there are no reported cases of the Wuhan coronavirus in Sabah.
The public are advised not to panic but to be vigilant and to adopt preventive measures in their daily lives such as wearing a proper face mask, regular hand washing with soap and clean water and to avoid overly crowded places.