Malaysia Airports ramping up initiatives to curb spread of COVID-19

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, which operates 39 airports nationwide including the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), is ramping up initiatives to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the effectiveness of the government’s Movement Control Order (MCO).

Apart from the five thermal scanners at strategic locations along the arrival flow of both terminals at KLIA (three at the main terminal and two at the klia2 terminal), it will add thermal scanners before the terminal buildings’ check-in areas in stages starting tomorrow, it said.

Malaysia Airports has also significantly increased its vigilance in maintaining hygiene at the airport and has put in measures to promote social distancing, it said in a statement today.

“At the onset of the virus outbreak, we had provided full support to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in placing thermal scanners at the airport and facilitating its personnel to perform manual temperature screening for all international arriving passengers at international airports in Malaysia.

“Early measures we took include the vigilant cleaning and sanitising of its facilities to ensure hygiene and providing sanitisers throughout the airports for the safety of the passengers,” it said.

More initiatives have been added since, such as digital notices for greater passenger awareness and social distancing, while additional temperature screening measures at the departure hall for departing passengers will be introduced in stages, the company said.

Malaysia Airports said the thermal scanners used by MOH to carry out the temperature screening are highly sensitive and able to detect body temperatures from a long range, thus allowing health workers to maintain social distance.

Passengers who exhibit symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath will be immediately referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital while passengers with no symptoms are required to self-quarantine for the next 14 days.

On maintaining hygiene at the airport, it said general workers work in shifts round the clock to continuously sanitise the airport’s common amenities and facilities such as lifts, counter tops, trolleys, doorknobs and handrails, among others.

To promote social distancing, Malaysia Airports has begun putting markers of one-metre gap each on the floors at the check-in, immigration and customs queueing areas.

“Likewise, gaps are also introduced in lifts and at the airport seating so that people can use them as a guide in practicing social distance,” it said.

Although the airport is considered an essential service and remains open under the MCO, all administrative staff not involved in airport operations are now working from home.

Nevertheless, Malaysia Airports assured that there is sufficient airport staff to ensure that service level is not compromised.

“Apart from mandatory daily temperature screening, we have also replaced fingerprint screening with card scanning as the method of staff access into secured areas within the airport area,” it noted.

Malaysia Airports said retail lots other than those specified under the MCO such as supermarkets, convenience stores selling essential items and essential service providers, are closed. Food and beverage outlets that remain open at the airport only provide take-away service and do not allow for dine-in.

Other airport stakeholders such as the Immigration Department is also strictly enforcing all the travel prohibitions outlined under the MCO for departing and arriving passengers.

“We urge the public to be responsible citizens and to strictly follow the government’s advice and recommendations so that our country will overcome the threat of COVID-19,” the airport operator said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency