SAVING LIVES COMES FIRST, THEN ONLY THE ECONOMY – GUAN ENG ON WUHAN VIRUS – EVEN AS ANWAR BACKS MAHATHIR’S BELATED PLAN TO BAN VISITORS FROM HUBEI REGION

GEORGE TOWN: The government’s top priority, currently, is saving lives of the people in the face of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said the government was giving its utmost focus to resolve the issue which affects the lives, safety and health of Malaysians.

“We will think about the impact of the coronavirus on the economy after we address the aspect of saving lives,” he said when met by reporters after attending Chinese New Year open house for Bukit Bendera constituency, here today.

At the same time, the minister urged all Malaysians to follow guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health as well as stay united in facing the coronavirus threat.

“Do not easily believe in fake news as it will only lead to chaos.

“Have faith in the professionalism of the doctors, specialists, nurses and the Ministry of Health. They are doing a great job and the Ministry of Finance will give full support to the Health Ministry,” he added. – Bernama

Anwar approves of decision to bar entry to visitors from Hubei

PUTRAJAYA’S decision to suspend visas to Chinese nationals from Wuhan and Hubei has been given the thumbs up by Anwar Ibrahim.

The PKR president and Port Dickson MP said the preventative measures put in place by the government should be taken to ensure public safety.

“Focus should also be given to students who will be going back to school after the Chinese New Year break,” Anwar said in a Facebook post today.

He also thanked the nation’s health and security personnel for their work in containing the spread of coronavirus.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that Chinese nationals from Hubei province, including its capital Wuhan, are temporarily barred from entering Malaysia with immediate effect, regardless of visa status.

“The decision was made in view of the latest development of the Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China, especially in Hubei province, and comes into force immediately,” it said.

The virus has killed 106 people, while at least 4,500 cases have been confirmed by authorities.

The Chinese government has placed Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, and other nearby cities under an unprecedented lockdown, affecting tens of millions of residents, to contain the virus.

The outbreak has caused global concern because of its similarity to the SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, pathogen, which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002 and 2003.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the suspension will be lifted once the situation returns to normal.  – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

BERNAMA / THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

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