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Johor to tighten control at six entry points to curb spread of Zika into Malaysia

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by August 30, 2016 General

Johor to tighten control at six entry points to curb spread of Zika into Malaysia

A doctor shows a sample to be tested with the Zika virus diagnostic test kit at their laboratory in Singapore, February 10, 2016. Johor today announced that it would tighten screening at entry points in order to curb the spread of Zika. — Reuters picA doctor shows a sample to be tested with the Zika virus diagnostic test kit at their laboratory in Singapore, February 10, 2016. Johor today announced that it would tighten screening at entry points in order to curb the spread of Zika. — Reuters picJOHOR BARU, Aug 30 — The Johor government is stepping up control at six entry points in the state as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of Zika virus into the country.

State Health and Environment Committee chairman, Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the six entry points were the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex in Tanjung Kupang, Johor Port in Pasir Gudang, Tanjung Pelepas in Gelang Patah, Puteri Harbour Ferry Terminal in Iskandar Puteri and the Stulang Laut Ferry Terminal.

“Control at the six points of entry will be tightened through screening of visitors and Malaysian citizens coming from Singapore by using thermal scanners to stop those with body temperature above 37 degrees Celsius from entering the country,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after observing a health screening exercise to prevent the spread of Zika virus, held at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex, here, today.

Ayub said screening was carried out round the clock with three shifts of personnel including doctors and staff of the Johor Health Department and Johor Baru Health Office, with the assistance of the Immigration Department.

He said apart from screening, the department also encouraged vehicles including cars, buses and lorries using the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex and Sultan Abu Bakar CIQ Complex to have aerosol sprays in their vehicles to prevent mosquitoes from being brought in.       

He said some quarters may regard the measure as trivial but it could be one of the most effective ways to combat the spread of the virus.

“It is estimated that about 50,000 vehicles enter and exit through the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar CIQ Complex daily. Hence, we don’t want the people to take it easy on the spread of Zika,” said Ayub, adding that they, however, did not need to panic.

Meanwhile, on dengue in the state, Ayub said 8,662 cases were recorded from the first to 34th week ending Aug 27, compared to 9,058 cases during the same period last year.

He said there were 14 fatalities recorded during the period this year compared to 25 over the same period last year.     

“This means the efforts of the Johor Health Department with the cooperation of all the district health offices to combat dengue are seeing results. We will continue to actively fight the disease in dengue sources such as housing areas, open spaces and house compounds,” he said. — Bernama

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