Malaysia to bar long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia, Philippines

September 2, 2020 - 11:18 AM
Masibah Karbak, 67, tidies up her garden decorated with Malaysian flags ahead of celebrations for the country's 63rd anniversary of independence on August 31, in Slim River, Malaysia August 23, 2020. (Reuters/Lim Huey Teng)

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia on Tuesday said it would bar entry of long-term immigration pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines from Sept. 7, in a bid to curtail imported coronavirus cases amid a spate of new clusters in the country.

Health authorities in Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy have recorded over 9,300 cases as of Tuesday, and 128 deaths, with new cases found in clusters detected in at least four states.

The entry ban on pass holders from the three countries will include permanent residents, expatriates, students and those on spouse visas and participants of Malaysia’s My Second Home programme, senior minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

“The decision was made on the advice of the health ministry to clamp down on the spread of imported COVID-19 cases,” Ismail Sabri said in a televised news conference.

India is the third most affected country by the pandemic behind the United States and Brazil, with its coronavirus tally reaching nearly 3.7 million on Tuesday.

A total of 7,505 people have died of the coronavirus in Indonesia, the highest in the region, while the Philippines, which has reported over 224,000 cases, has seen a continuous rise in infections. —Reporting by Joseph Sipalan; Editing by Martin Petty