PUTRAJAYA, Aug 28 — Reopening the borders will be the last thing for the government to consider in its fight against COVID-19 to prevent new transmissions in the country, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the government had previously mulled at opening the country’s borders to allow entry of foreign workers from Thailand and Indonesia but had to put it on hold following the current COVID-19 situation which saw many imported cases being reported.

“The special ministerial meeting yesterday decided that we would be more strict in terms of reopening the country’s borders as there are countries which have experienced an increase in the number of infections due to imported cases after relaxing their borders,” he told reporters after officiating the 40/2020 Malaysian Defence College Course graduation ceremony here today.

He was commenting on  AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes’ call for ASEAN leaders in green zone countries to consider reopening their borders.

Ismail Sabri said at the moment, no country can be considered as COVID-19 green zones.

He said the government had previously identified six COVID-19 green zone countries for conditional reopening of international borders namely Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and South Korea but it would be reconsidered after several countries including South Korea and Australia recorded an increase in the number of new cases.


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