KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 23 — Singapore announced today a confirmed case of a new SARS-linked respiratory virus from Wuhan, China, even as Malaysia reported a suspected coronavirus case in Sabah.
Channel News Asia reported Singapore’s Ministry of Health as saying that the patient, currently in stable condition and quarantined at the Singapore General Hospital, is a 66-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan.
The Wuhan resident reportedly arrived in Singapore with his family last Monday, flying from Guangzhou.
Another suspected coronavirus patient in Singapore is reportedly a preliminary positive case, pending the results from a second round of tests.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Health said Sabah reported a suspected coronavirus case yesterday, who is in stable condition in a hospital in the East Malaysian state and awaiting lab test results. Three other suspected patients in Selangor and Sabah tested negative for the virus.
The virus originating from Wuhan, which sparked a pneumonia outbreak, has killed 17 people to date, all in Wuhan, and infected over 600 people worldwide, including in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Macau, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the United States.
The Guardian reported that China has locked down three cities with a total 20-million population — Wuhan, Huanggang, and Ezhou — and cancelled major public events in capital Beijing, ahead of Chinese New Year this weekend. All public air, land, and sea transport from the three central cities has been shut down.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the novel coronavirus could be caused by a newly emerging member of the family of viruses that caused the deadly SARS outbreak that infected over 8,000 people and killed almost 800 in 2003 worldwide.