Keep tourist spots open, urges minister

Lee Chi Leong

Tourism Minister Mohammadin Ketapi at a press conference in Putrajaya, where he urged tourism spot operators to open their doors to visitors. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Nazir Sufari, January 28, 2020.

TOURIST spots should remain open amid the novel coronavirus scare, as those who have entered the country are healthy, said Tourism Minister Mohammadin Ketapi.

He said the ministry will contact tourist spot operators and tell them to allow foreigners in.

“It’s not good and it’s totally wrong to stop healthy people from visiting this country,” Mohammadin told reporters in Putrajaya today.

He was speaking at a joint press conference with Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad to give updates on coronavirus cases detected in the country.

It was reported yesterday that two popular tourist spots – Putra Mosque in Putrajaya and the Federal Territory Mosque in Kuala Lumpur – were closed temporarily to tourists in the wake of the outbreak.

Mohammadin said there should not be any unwarranted concerns over tourists already in the country.

“They are already in the country and we have checked that they are healthy.

“Healthy people don’t spread diseases. The precautions (by the tourists spots) are not needed,” said Mohammadin.

He added that the Tourism Ministry is confident that it can still achieve its 30 million visitors target this year.

“The target is still 30 million. If there’s a small impact, it will be from Wuhan. But Australians or the English will still come.

“If we are affected, it’s only a little bit but we still have enough strategies to achieve this target,” said Mohammadin.

He added any serious impact the virus has on tourism numbers in the country would only be known once more data has been collected.

Malaysia has suspended entry for those arriving from Hubei province and its capital, Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

The viral outbreak has infected 106 people in China, with Hubei recording 24 fatalities, while cases across China have exceeded 4,000.

The virus is causing global concern because of its similarity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pathogen, which killed hundreds across mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002 and 2003.

Malaysia has four confirmed cases here, all of them Chinese nationals. – January 28, 2020.

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  • 1. Local Musang King Durian price will take a dive and it will make it more affordable to eat durians this year.

    Posted 4 years ago by Edwin Pereira · Reply

  • This minister is beyond useless. The virus is no longer confined to just Wuhan. People are infectious before they show any symptoms. To say someone is healthy based on the lack of symptoms is irresponsible. This sort of unfounded optimism has resulted in the rapid spread of the virus.

    Posted 4 years ago by Malaysia New hope · Reply