Malaysia yesterday confirmed six new cases of coronavirus, bringing the number of infections to 99 – the second highest number in Southeast Asia after Singapore.
The surge in local cases over the past week has led the country to ban all cruise ships from docking, with the aim of concentrating medical resources in hospitals.
“The entry and transit of cruise ships, passengers and crew members requires considerable medical resources to be available in ports for screening and treatment,” the director general said yesterday. Port Klang authority, K. Subramaniam.
“During this difficult time, it is important that more medical resources are concentrated in hospitals to respond to medical emergencies and take preventive measures. As such, the Ministry of Health, in consultation with other government departments and agencies, has decided not to allow the entry of cruise ships into Malaysian ports, including Port Klang, with immediate effect until that the general situation improves and that the spread of the virus is contained, “he said.
Meanwhile, in Bali, more than 1,200 people aboard the cruise ship MV Viking Sun, which had been hijacked from two ports on the island of Java, were allowed to set foot on the tourist island of Indonesia yesterday after being authorized by the authorities.
Up to 848 passengers, including Americans and Australians, and hundreds of crew members disembarked at the port of Benoa in Bali after the port authorities checked their health, said Ketut Suarjaya, chief of the Bali health agency.
“The port authorities decided that they could dock. Of course, before that, we examined them in accordance with the maritime health declaration,” he told the Straits Times by phone from Bali. Based on the health examination, “everyone is in good health,” said Ketut, adding that as a result, the port authorities had allowed them to get off the ship.
Responding to reports that two passengers were ill, which raised concerns about a coronavirus infection, Mr. Ketut said that one passenger suffered from asthma while the other suffered from sinusitis. “After seeing their medical records, none of them developed symptoms leading to Covid-19,” he said.
Indonesia confirmed two more cases of coronavirus yesterday, bringing the total of those who tested positive to six.