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Government measures to contain COVID-19 effective – Mahathir

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LANGKAWI, Feb 14 — The government is seen to have taken effective measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus disease, in the country, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

The prime minister said he hoped that these efforts, undertaken with the assistance of various quarters, can be continued to protect Malaysians from the disease.

“We have taken precautions from very early on. We screened everyone coming to Malaysia, particularly from China. If we suspect anyone of carrying the virus, we subject them to a 14-day quarantine.

“Our people who were brought back from Wuhan are also being quarantined for 14 days. Through these measures, we have been fortunate that there are only 19 (positive) cases and many of the 19 are Chinese nationals,” he told reporters after performing the groundbreaking for the Villa Sirehan Phase 2 project and a visit to the Rebungan Resort Langkawi project site in Ulu Melaka here.

Asked about his telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping yesterday, Dr Mahathir said he conveyed his sympathy and expressed confidence in every effort being undertaken by China to fight the epidemic.

“I believe the Chinese government is doing everything possible (to contain the disease) and we are thankful that they helped us in bringing back our people from there,” he said.

Media reports said more than 64,000 confirmed cases and over 1,400 deaths have been reported in China since the outbreak in Wuhan.