KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 — Malaysia has reported four new cases of the novel coronavirus, one of whom is an employee of sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
This brings the total number of positive Covid-19 cases in Malaysia to 29, of which 22 have recovered. Eleven of them are Malaysian, 15 are Chinese nationals, and the remaining three are citizens from America, Japan, and Italy.
In a statement yesterday, Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham said all four cases are Malaysians, all of whom are currently being treated at hospitals in Selangor.
The 26th case is a 52-year-old Malaysian man with a history of traveling to Shanghai, China. He had a fever and sore throat on February 27, and sought treatment at a private hospital on the same day.
He tested positive for Covid-19 two days later and was admitted to the isolation ward at Sungai Buloh Hospital. Contact tracing and investigations on how he contracted the new virus is underway.
Although Dr Noor Hisham’s statement did not reveal the identities of the cases, media reports state that the Khazanah worker is the 26th case.
Khazanah, separately, has confirmed that one of their employees has been infected, and pledged to work closely with health authorities and the management of its office premises in taking the necessary health measures and precautions.
This includes supporting the health authorities in identifying individuals who have come into close contact with the affected employee, it said in a statement yesterday.
“We sincerely regret any inconvenience caused in the course of undertaking these measures and precautions,” it said. “Khazanah continues to operate with minimal disruptions”.
Meanwhile, the 27th case is a Malaysian female trainee nurse aged 20. She was undergoing a short-term training attachment at a private hospital that treated the 24th case, a Japanese woman who works in Malaysia and had travelled to Japan last month. Japan has reported at least 230 cases of Covid-19 and at least 11 deaths so far.
“On 21 and 22 February, 2020, she was in contact with Case 24 without wearing the recommended personal protective equipment (PPE),” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“On 27th February 2020, she developed cough. She was tested for Covid-19 and confirmed positive on 29 February, 2020. She is currently admitted into the isolation ward in Kuala Lumpur Hospital for further management.”
Case 29, on the other hand, is a 35-year-old Malaysian female, who was placed in the same twin-sharing room as Case 24, prior to the latter case being confirmed with Covid-19.
“Case 29 was initially discharged on 25 February, 2020. She started feeling unwell on 27 February, 2020, with fever and cough. However, she did not seek treatment.
“During contact tracing investigation by the District Health Office, she was identified as one of the close contacts of Case 24.
“She was tested for Covid-19 and confirmed positive on 29th February 2020. She was admitted into the isolation ward in Sungai Buloh Hospital for further management.”
Case 28, meanwhile, is a 45 year-old Malaysian male and a co-worker to Case 25, an Italian man who is married to a Malaysian and resides in Malaysia.
Case 25 had travelled to Italy last month, which is reported to be the cause of the outbreak in Europe. Italy reported a 50 per cent increase in coronavirus cases yesterday, with 1,694 confirmed coronavirus cases and 34 deaths.
Together with Case 25 and another work colleague, they have a history of travelling to Italy for business last month, Dr Noor Hisham said.
During contact tracing investigation by the District Health Office, he was identified and found to have symptoms of Covid-19.
He later tested positive for Covid-19, and was admitted into the isolation ward in Sungai Buloh Hospital for further management.