Johor on alert for Zika virus after 2 S'pore cases

JOHOR BARU • Johor is on alert for travellers carrying the Zika virus into Malaysia following reports of two new cases in Singapore.

The authorities will focus on two land links to Singapore, the Johor Causeway and the Second Link Crossing in Gelang Patah, said the state health, environment, education and information committee chairman Ayub Rahmat.

"Thousands of people are using both links daily and we are monitoring the situation," he said in a statement yesterday.

Datuk Ayub said staff from the state health department of Johor would monitor the body temperature of travellers at both crossings using thermal scanners, which have been set up.

"We are also taking preventive measures in housing estates or locations where many Malaysians live and travel regularly to the Republic," he added.

Mr Ayub said that the state health department would deploy more medical staff at the two entry points if more Zika cases were reported in Singapore.

It was reported on Saturday that Malaysia had tightened health screenings at all entry points, especially in Johor, following two new cases of the Zika virus in Singapore.

Malaysian Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said so far, there were no reports of the mosquito-borne viral infection affecting Malaysians.

"I want the Johor Health Department to be more careful and alert, and perform more stringent monitoring, especially at the Malaysia-Singapore entrance.

"We have body temperature sensors that can detect those having fever at entry points in Johor, and if there are cases of Zika, health officials must take appropriate action," Datuk Seri Hilmi added.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 12, 2017, with the headline Johor on alert for Zika virus after 2 S'pore cases. Subscribe