First case of Malaysian positive for virus

KUALA LUMPUR (BERNAMA) – A 41-year-old man is the first Malaysian tested positive for the novel coronavirus 2019 (2019-nCoV).

He is one of two new positive cases, bringing to 10 the number of coronavirus cases in Malaysia so far.

Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the other case involved a 63-year-old man from China who arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on January 18.

“As for the Malaysian, he was in Singapore on January 16-23 to attend a conference which was also attended by several international delegations including from China.

“He returned to Malaysia on January 23 and, on January 29, sought treatment at a private health facility in Selangor for fever and cough. Thereafter, he was referred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital on February 2, and was admitted to an isolation ward. He was confirmed positive for 2019-nCoV yesterday,” he told the daily press conference to update on the coronavirus situation in Malaysia yesterday.

He said the Malaysian was in stable condition and that the Malaysian Health Ministry was working closely with the Singaporean authorities on contact tracing.

The eight positive cases reported earlier all involved China nationals.Dr Dzulkefly said the Health Ministry had already started contact tracing involving close family members of the Malaysian.

On the second new case, the minister said the man, who came from Wuhan, experienced normal fever on January 23 and sought treatment as an outpatient at a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

“The case was reported to the Health Ministry and he was placed under home surveillance for 14 days.

“On February 2, the fever did not abate and he was admitted to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital for further treatment. The laboratory tests confirmed he was positive for 2019-nCoV on February 3, the patient is now at an isolation ward and his condition is stable,” he said.

Dr Dzulkefly said of the 10 positive cases reported, five were from the Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) category while the others contracted 2019-nCoV through close contact.

“Cumulative PUI cases from January 10 till 6pm as of February 3 stood at 213 people involving 122 Malaysians, China nationals (86), Australian (1), South Korean (1), Jordanian (1), Brazilian (1) and Thai (1),” he said.

Asked about the status of the 34 Malaysians who could not join the evacuation mission from Wuhan early yesterday, Dr Dzulkefly said he believed the Foreign Ministry would act on the matter.

An AirAsia chartered flight brought back 107 individuals stranded in Hubei province in China due to the coronavirus outbreak. Wuhan is the capital of the province.

They comprised 88 Malaysians and 19 others made up of non-Malaysian spouses and children of some of the evacuees.

The special flight arrived at KLIA at 5.57am.

Wuhan is the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak which is spreading across the globe. The death toll stands at 427 with more than 20,000 confirmed cases.

Two of the deaths were outside China, one in the Philippines and the other in Hong Kong.