Malaysia steps up Mers screening at checkpoints

Malaysia's Health Ministry will enhance screening procedures at all entry points.
Malaysia's Health Ministry will enhance screening procedures at all entry points. PHOTO: THE STAR/ ASIA NEWS NETWORK

GEORGE TOWN - Malaysia's Health Ministry will enhance screening procedures at all entry points following reports that a businessman from Oman had tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) in Thailand.

Minister S. Subramanian said the ministry will take proactive measures to prevent the spread of the virus in the country, Bernama news agency reported.

"So far our monitoring process is going on smoothly and even pilgrims coming back from the holy land have been briefed on the awareness of Mers-CoV," he told reporters on Monday (Jan 26).

Datuk Seri Dr Subramaniam said he was confident that Thailand would be able to handle the Mers situation and urged the people not to panic, Bernama reported.

Reuters news agency said Thailand has quarantined 32 people as it seeks to prevent the spread of the virus after the second case was detected in a 71-year-old Omani man travelling to Bangkok last Friday.

His son, taxi drivers, hotel staff and passengers on the same plane are among those quarantined for two weeks, said director-general of Thailand's Disease Control Department Amnuay Gajeena.

Mers was first identified in humans in Saudi Arabia in 2012 and the majority of cases have been in the Middle East.