KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 — Two Malaysians have tested positive for a novel coronavirus after authorities brought them back to their home country from Wuhan, China, where the outbreak began.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the two — a 45-year-old father and his nine-year-old son — are currently receiving treatment at Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar, Seremban, and are in stable condition.
Both of them were part of a group of 105 people who were yesterday sent to the surveillance centre for coronavirus at Akademi Kepimpinan Pendidikan Tinggi (AKEPT) in Bandar Enstek, Nilai, Negri Sembilan, upon reaching Malaysia in their flight from Wuhan. These people will be quarantined at the surveillance centre for 14 days.
Another two people who touched down and were sent to Hospital Kuala Lumpur yesterday, upon failing initial screenings, turned out negative for the novel coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV.
The total confirmed infections of 2019-nCoV in Malaysia are 12 as of today, comprising three Malaysians and nine Chinese nationals.
Dzulkefly said the remaining 131 people brought back by Malaysia’s rescue mission from the central Chinese city of Wuhan all tested negative for 2019-nCoV. The mission had taken home 88 Malaysians and their 19 foreign-born family members, as well as 26 workers, including health workers and staff from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), the airline, and the Malaysian embassy.
“From January 10 2020 till February 5 2020 at 10am, the cumulative PUI (patients-under-investigation) for 2019-nCoV is 257 people,” he said, adding that 17 of them are still awaiting test results.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday announced the first case of recovery from the new strain of coronavirus in Malaysia — a four-year-old Chinese national who was hospitalised in Langkawi. He told CodeBlue that the child was not treated with HIV medicines, but with treatment targeting her symptoms.
The novel coronavirus, which comes from the same family of viruses that causes SARS and MERS, produces symptoms like fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It can cause illnesses with little or no symptoms, severe conditions, or even death. Thailand previously reported apparent success in treating severe cases of 2019-nCoV with a cocktail of antivirals for HIV and the flu.