KUALA LUMPUR,: The Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) has called for a close cooperation between the Malaysian government and its China counterpart in handling of the ongoing Wuhan virus epidemic.

Besides this, it also proposed five urgent measures to better deal with the dreadful issue, as follows:
1. To establish an inter-agency task force which comprises of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Tourism Ministry, Immigration Department, Police, Malaysia Airport Bhd (MAB), and the tour and travel operators, and to adopt an unified and standardised approaches in dealing with the issue.

2. To dispatch and station more Chinese-speaking personnel and health inspectors at all major checkpoints, including the airports throughout the country, to prevent untoward incidents which could arise from miscommunication between the relevant authorities and the Chinese visitors.

3. To professionally and adequately handle all those Chinese tourists from the Wuhan virus epidemic-stricken areas who are currently stranded in Malaysia; This includes to issue extension for their visas.

4. To beef up public awareness on the Wuhan virus epidemic, so that the public could take proper and adequate precautions against the epidemic; This includes distribution of public awareness leaflets concerning the Wuhan virus at all major checkpoints including the airports.

5. To maintain close contact and communication with the Chinese Embassy and Chinese consulates in the country, and to facilitate the deportation of non-infected Malaysians who are currently stranded in China, Wuhan especially.

In a statement issued today, while welcoming and commending the deputy prime minister cum chairman of National Disaster Management Committee, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah for announcing the necessary measures taken by the government in dealing with the Wuhan virus epidemic, Huazong president Tan Sri T.C Goh also urged the government to step up precautionary efforts.

He especially noted that following the Chinese government’s restriction of Wuhan-bound international flights, at the same time Malaysian airline companies too had cancelled Wuhan-bound flights, many Wuhan-hailed tourists are now stranded in Malaysia and inevitably there’ll be the issue of over-staying which may thus require extension of their visas by the relevant authority.

Citing the clash between a Chinese couple and the police at the Senai International Airport, in Johor Bahru on Sunday, over the quarantined of their toddler who was suspected to have been infected with the Coronavirus, Goh said the incident indicated that there’s a need for the relevant authority to station Chinese-speaking officers at the airports to assist fellow officers to better conduct their duty and task.

Meanwhile, Goh also revealed that since the outbreak of the Wuhan virus epidemic, Chinese delegations which are scheduled to pay courtesy call on Huazong had not cancelled such schedule. The delegations include those who had earlier committed to attend the Chinese New Year open house organized by Huazong, on 3 February, 2020 or the 10th day of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

He nonetheless noted that the delegations are mainly from Beijing and Fujian Province, none is from Wuhan Province, which is currently still locked down following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.-pr/ BNN