KUALA LUMPUR, March 5 — Malaysia has reported an additional five new cases of the novel coronavirus, all of which are linked to Patient 26 and a new cluster of Covid-19 cases.
This brings the total number of positive coronavirus cases in the country to 55.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said there are now a total of 26 close contact cases that tested positive for Covid-19 after being in contact with Patient 26, rumoured to be a staff member of Khazanah Nasional Berhad.
Case 26 — a man who previously travelled to Shanghai, China, but who the Ministry of Health (MOH) will not identify due to patient confidentiality — went to his office last February 27 and attended five other public activities on February 21, February 24, and February 27.
In doing so, Patient 26 possibly exposed at least 215 close contacts, as identified by health authorities through contact tracing. Some of these direct cases include his officer.
“Investigations and contact tracing for this cluster is still ongoing,” Dr Noor Hisham said after attending a national coronavirus cluster working committee meeting in Putrajaya earlier this afternoon.
The meeting was chaired by Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali, and is the second such meeting this year.
The number of Covid-19 patients in Malaysia who have recovered remains at 22, all of which were identified from a previous cluster, Dr Noor Hisham added.
MOH, meanwhile, urged Malaysians to temporarily delay their plans to travel to Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna in Italy, Hokkaido in Japan, as well as Tehran, Qom, and Gilan in Iran, which all have coronavirus outbreaks.
Today’s meeting also decided to temporarily halt the entry of all travelers, regardless of their nationality, who have traveled to these destinations in the last 14 days, prior to arriving in Malaysia, Dr Noor Hisham announced.
MOH also advises all organisations that had Covid-19 cases detected in their premises not to close down their offices, as cleaning and disinfection work is more than enough to contain the spread of Covid-19.
Separately, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee announced that a lawyer who attended the Kuala Lumpur Bar’s annual general meeting last February 27 has tested positive for Covid-19. The lawyer is believed to be among the coronavirus cases already confirmed by health authorities.