Johor on alert after first monkeypox case detected in Singapore

JOHOR BARU: Johor has directed its Health Department to get in touch with Singapore’s health authorities following the first case of monkeypox in the island republic.

State Health and Unity Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said while no such cases have been detected in Malaysia just yet, preparations are being made to ensure there is no outbreak of the virus locally.

“Notices have been issued to those working in the frontline, especially the Immigration Department, as they are the first in line when travellers enter Johor.

“They are supposed to flag the Health Ministry on travellers with monkeypox symptoms while those without are advised to download the MySejahtera app to monitor their health for the next 14 days upon arrival,” he told reporters outside the state assembly sitting on Wednesday (June 22).

On June 20, Singapore’s health ministry confirmed an imported case of monkeypox, which is the first case detected in the city-state in three years.

The patient, a 42-year-old British man who works as a flight attendant, tested positive and had flown in and out of Singapore around mid-June.

Ling added that he has told the state Health Department to coordinate with its counterparts across the border to keep a close eye on the situation.

He said the Health Ministry has also given the necessary standard operating procedures to respond accordingly if such cases are detected locally.

“Although there is a large number of people travelling across the border daily, they are mostly Malaysians and Singaporeans.

“There are not many travellers coming into Johor from the countries with monkeypox cases as we do not have direct flights from those destinations.

“So Singapore is considered the first layer of detection before the travellers enter Malaysia via Johor, where we will do another round of screening to look out for monkeypox,” he added.

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