KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — A Malaysian woman was infected with novel coronavirus after she travelled to Japan, while all previous 22 patients in Malaysia have recovered, health authorities said.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 16th and 22nd positive Covid-19 cases recovered and were subsequently allowed to be discharged yesterday — a Chinese woman and an American national respectively.
The Chinese woman, aged 67, was treated at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, while the American citizen, whose age and gender was not identified, was treated at Sungai Buloh Hospital.
Meanwhile, Malaysia’s 23rd Covid-19 case is a 53-year-old Malaysian woman with a history of traveling to Japan, which has reported at least 210 cases and four deaths of Covid-19.
“When (she) returned from Japan on February 23, 2020, the patient started having fever the next day, and sought treatment at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur,” Dr Noor Hisham said yesterday in a statement.
“A Covid-19 confirmation test was administered for this case and was confirmed to be positive on February 27, 2020,” he added, following which the case was reported to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre.
Dr Noor Hisham said a total of 1,570 individuals have had their samples taken for Covid-19 testing purposes, comprising patients-under-investigation, close contact, humanitarian aid missions, and from the Dream World ship.
“Of this, a total of 24 cases were confirmed to be positive for Covid-19, 1,523 are negative, and 23 are still waiting lab results.”
Dr Noor Hisham also spoke of the recent humanitarian mission to China to bring back stranded Malaysians from Wuhan, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak which is currently under lockdown from Beijing.
A total of 66 individuals comprising 46 Malaysians and 20 foreigners that were related to the Malaysians were brought back on February 26, the second time such an effort took place.
Upon arrival in Malaysia, they were screened and had clinical samples taken for Covid-19 entry screening.
Dr Noor Hisham said findings of that screening showed that no individual was symptomatic, and lab results for all 66 individuals tested negative for Covid-19.
“Following this, they were placed in observation to undergo health screening for 14 days.”
As of yesterday morning, a total of 81,398 Covid-19 cases and 2,770 deaths were reported worldwide. Of this, four per cent or 3,200 cases were reported outside of China, which has seen 52 deaths.
Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran are among countries that have shown a sharp increase in cases within the last week.
As such, Dr Noor Hisham said MOH is advising all Malaysians to postpone their travels to Chinese cities or districts that have been declared as Covid-19 outbreak zones, as well as Japan, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.
“KKM (MOH) will continue to observe developments relating to this infection, through information obtained from the WHO,” he added, referring to the World Health Organization.
“KKM will ensure that prevention methods and appropriate containment will be carried out continuously,” he added.