In the thick of the Wuhan coronavirus chaos, Malaysia has decided not to stop any import of food products from China
In a report by The Malaysian Insight, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub explained that the virus does not have anything to do with food.
"The virus is by human transmission and does not involve foodstuff," he was quoted as saying by The Malaysian Insight yesterday, 28 January.
Nevertheless, strict checks will still be conducted on imported food products from China at all entry points nationwide
According to Bernama, the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry has instructed the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (MAQIS) to carry out the inspections as a precautionary measure.
Salahuddin has also assured that Malaysia did not import any foodstuff from Wuhan, the city in which the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) occurred.
"While there were no reports on the spread of the virus through food (consumption) like meat, we are taking measures to conduct random checks on agriculture produce imported from China at our entry points," he said, as quoted by New Straits Times.
Additionally, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali agreed that it was not necessary for Malaysia to temporarily halt imports from China, particularly Wuhan
Azmin assured that the coronavirus outbreak has yet to show any implications on Malaysia's economy.
However, the nation's growth would be affected should the virus continue to spread.
"As what happened with the other outbreaks previously, if (the contagion) continues, it would definitely have an impact on the nation's economy," Azmin told Bernama.
"However, I do not want to make any speculation because this is a serious matter that needs to be monitored by the related agencies and ministry. We will take the information and advice from them on the next move we should take," he added.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health confirmed three more cases of the novel coronavirus today, 29 January, bringing the total number of positive cases to seven in Malaysia:
Despite the increase in cases, a study revealed that Malaysia is "more prepared" than Singapore and Japan when it comes to handling virus outbreaks:
Read more about the Wuhan virus coverage on SAYS: