KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — The first doctor in Malaysia has died in the coronavirus outbreak, marking the ninth fatality in the country.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today the 48-year-old specialist doctor employed by the Ministry of Health, who previously travelled to Turkey, was hospitalised at Tuanku Fauziah Hospital in Kangar, Perlis, on March 17 after suffering from severe acute respiratory infection.
Patient 890 tested positive for Covid-19 on March 18 and was put on a ventilator the next day after his condition deteriorated.
“He died at 10.33am on March 22,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“This Covid-19 case was not suspected to originate from frontliners or from his working colleagues dealing with Covid-19 patients. It is related to overseas travel history.”
Dr Noor Hisham told CodeBlue that the Perlis doctor did not suffer from any comorbidities, or underlying medical problems.
A 34-year-old man from Johor who died from coronavirus also did not have preexisting health conditions. According to the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults (aged 65 and older) and those with serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease may be at higher risk for more serious complications from Covid-19.
Malaysia’s coronavirus outbreak reached 1,183 cases yesterday, with 37 under intensive care. According to health authorities, coronavirus hotspots in Malaysia are mostly located in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, with a few in Johor and Negri Sembilan: Petaling Jaya (96 cases); Lembah Pantai (90); Hulu Langat (75); Johor Baru, Johor (52); Seremban, Negri Sembilan (42); and Titiwangsa (41).