Malaysia registers 1st citizen with coronavirus

by RAHIMI YUNUS / pic by TMR FILE PIX

MALAYSIA has registered its first citizen infected by novel coronavirus with one more positive case involving a Chinese national, bringing the total to 10.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (picture) confirmed the two new cases yesterday afternoon and both patients are currently under isolation.

Meanwhile, two Malaysians among the 107 people who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, have been referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) as they failed health screening upon arrival, according to media reports.

The AirAsia flight arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 5.57am yesterday, carrying Malaysians and their non-citizen family members, eight mission team members, six official from the Malaysian Embassy in China and 12 crew members.

The remaining 105 people who had passed the health screening were sent to a surveillance centre at the Higher Education Leadership Academy or AKEPT in Bandar Enstek, Nilai, Negri Sembilan, via four Fire and Rescue Department buses, according to a Bernama report.

The first Malaysian to test positive of the coronavirus is a 41-year-old man who travelled to Singapore from Jan 16 to 23 for a meeting which involved international delegations including from China.

He returned home on Jan 23 and went to a private hospital on Jan 29 for cough and fever, before he was referred to Sungai Buloh Hospital last Sunday.

He was confirmed coronavirus positive on Monday and is in a stable condition.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) has contacted the neighbouring country’s health ministry and they confirmed that contact tracing activity has started. MoH is working with the neighbouring country’s health ministry to identify the infection source,” Dr Dzulkefly said in a statement yesterday.

The other new case involved a 63-yearold man, a Chinese national from Wuhan. He arrived at KLIA on Jan 18 and started having mild fever on Jan 23.

He sought treatment as an outpatient in a private hospital in KL and the case was informed to MoH, which then placed the patient under home surveillance for 14 days. He was then admitted to HKL as the fever persisted.

Subsequently, he was confirmed coronavirus positive on Monday and is said to be stable.

As of 6pm on Monday, MoH said the cumulative case of patient under investigation stood at 213 comprising 122 Malaysians, 86 Chinese nationals and one each from Australia, the Republic of Korea, Jordan, Brazil and Thailand.

Additionally, a total of 36 individuals of close contact with the current positive cases have been identified.

“MoH will continue to monitor the progress of the infection and ensure that appropriate precaution and control measures are implemented continuously. The public will be kept informed on the development and is advised to always comply with health advice issued by MoH,” Dr Dzulkefly said.