First case of Malaysian positive for coronavirus

04/02/2020 05:31 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 -- A 41-year-old man is the first Malaysian who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV).

He is one of two new positive cases, bringing to 10 the number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia so far.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the other case involved a 63-year-old man from China who arrived at the KL International Airport on Jan 18.

"As for the Malaysian, he was in Singapore from Jan 16 to 23 to attend a conference which was also attended by several international delegations including from China.

"He returned to Malaysia on Jan 23 and, on Jan 29, sought treatment at a private health facility in Selangor for fever and cough. Thereafter, he was referred  to the Sungai Buloh Hospital on Feb 2, and was admitted to an isolation ward. He was confirmed positive for 2019-nCoV yesterday,” he told the daily press conference to update on the coronavirus situation in Malaysia, here today.

He said the Malaysian was in stable condition and that the Health Ministry was working closely with the Singaporean authorities on contact tracing.

The eight positive cases reported earlier all involved China nationals.

Dr Dzulkefly said the Health Ministry had already started contact tracing involving close family members of the Malaysian.

On the second new case, the minister said the man, who came from Wuhan, experienced normal fever on Jan 23 and sought treatment as an outpatient at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

"The case was reported to the Health Ministry and he was placed under home surveillance for 14 days.

"On Feb 2, the fever did not abate and he was admitted to the  Kuala Lumpur Hospital for further treatment. The laboratory tests confirmed he was positive for 2019-nCoV on Feb 3, the patient is now at an isolation ward and his condition is stable,” he said.

Dr Dzulkefly said of the 10 positive cases reported, five were from the Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) category while the others contracted  2019-nCoV through close contact.

"Cumulative PUI cases from Jan 10 till 6 pm as of Feb 3 stood at 213 people involving 122 Malaysians, China nationals (86), Australian (1), South Korean (1), Jordanian (1), Brazilian (1) and Thai (1)," he said.

Asked about the status of the 34 Malaysians who could not join the evacuation mission from Wuhan early today, Dr Dzulkefly said he believed the Foreign Ministry would act on the matter.

An AirAsia chartered flight brought back 107 individuals stranded in Hubei province in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. Wuhan is the capital of the province.

They comprised 88 Malaysians and 19 others made up of non-Malaysian spouses and children of some of the evacuees.

The special flight arrived at KLIA at 5.57 am.

Wuhan is the epicentre of the novel coronivirus outbreak which is spreading across  the globe. The death toll stands at 427 with more than 20,000 confirmed cases.

Two of the deaths were outside China, one in the Philippines and the other in Hong Kong.


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