Thursday, July 14, 2005

Miss Ethiopia Quarantined for Not Having Medical Certificate

Ethiopian beauty queen Mosissa will have to stay in the quarantine unit for four days as part of Malaysia’s disease prevention and control procedures against yellow fever.

The Star -- Miss Ethiopia Dina Fekadu Mosissa was put under a four-day quarantine after she failed to produce a yellow-fever card on arrival at the KL International Airport yesterday.

The 21-year-old beauty will miss the Miss Tourism pageant’s preview dinner show here tonight.

Pageant organiser Alaric Soh said health officials at the airport had refused Mosissa’s entry despite his plea.

He said Mosissa, a university student, should have been told the health requirements for entry into the country when she was given the visa to visit Malaysia.

National Health Services Department’s Disease Control Division director Dr Ramlee Rahmat said the rule that required visitors from African and South American countries to show the yellow-fever certificate when entering the country had been implemented for a long time.

No exemption could be given to free Mosissa from the quarantine unit, he said.

He said Mosissa had to spend four days (including yesterday) in quarantine, as this was part of the disease prevention and control procedures practised by the country.

“We do not have yellow fever but we have the mosquitoes (which can carry the disease). This is a precautionary step to prevent the disease from spreading to this country,” he said.

Soh’s company Alaric’s Production is hosting the pageant in collaboration with the Sarawak State Economic Development Corporation, the state Tourism Ministry and the Miri City Council to promote Sarawak as a choice tourism destination.

Soh said the arrival of five contestants from countries in Europe was delayed till yesterday because they were not issued the air tickets the organisers had paid for two weeks ago.

Miss India Sonal Singh also arrived yesterday.

All the contestants were to have arrived last Saturday.

Except for Miss Tibet Tashi Yangchen and Miss South Korea Oh Hye Ji, who had withdrawn from the pageant, and Miss Ethiopia, all the finalists were expected at the preview dinner show at Crowne Plaza Riverside Hotel here tonight.

Miss Tibet had pulled out from the contest as she did not want to contest as Miss Tibet-China.

The contestants are expected to take to the catwalk in traditional costumes at the Miri indoor stadium on Sunday before appearing for the grand finals in Miri on July 23.

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