Novel coronavirus: Malaysia records first local transmission

PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) – A Malaysian woman who is the first case of local transmission and a woman from Wuhan, China, are the two latest positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

It brings the tally of coronavirus positive cases in Malaysia to 14, comprising 10 China nationals and four locals.

Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said for the first local transmission case, the 40-year-old woman who had no history of visiting China, was a younger sister to the local man who was confirmed positive with the virus on Tuesday.

The woman is currently warded at Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Alor Setar and is reported to be in a stable condition.

Speaking at a daily news conference on the latest 2019-nCoV cluster yesterday, Dr Dzulkefly said the woman had direct contact with her brother who just returned from Singapore to celebrate Chinese New Year in Alor Setar on January 23.

Nurses check the temperatures of visitors as part of the coronavirus screening procedure at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur. PHOTO: AP

He said the woman experienced symptoms of fever and sore throat on February 1 before getting treatment at a private clinic.

“As soon as her brother was found 2019-nCoV positive, she was traced by Kuala Muda District Health Office.

“Samples from the woman and her family members were taken, and after the 2019-nCoV detection and verification test conducted, the woman was confirmed positive on February 5 while the rest of her family members negative,” he said.

For the woman from Wuhan, Dr Dzulkefly said the 32-year old individual was confirmed coronavirus positive after being referred to Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) on Wednesday after having symptoms of the 2019-nCoV.

The health minister also said that the woman arrived in Malaysia on January 25 with her mother and three friends and had visited several tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur.

Dr Dzulkefly said on February 1, the Chinese woman sought treatment for fever at HKL, and after being treated, she was allowed to go home with medicine to treat the symptoms and Home Assessment Tool.

He said the woman and her group were put under home surveillance, but monitoring visit conducted by Lembah Pantai Health District Office found that she was still symptomatic.

The woman was then referred to HKL and admitted on February 5, and after the test conducted, she was found coronavirus positive on the same day.

She was reported to be in a stable condition, he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Dzulkefly said from January 10 to date, the number of cumulative cases of the patient under investigation (PUI) was at 290, comprising 188 Malaysians and 95 Chinese nationals and one case each involving Australian, South Korean, Jordanian, Brazillian, Canadian, Bangladeshi and Thai national. Of the total, 277 were negative while another seven cases were waiting for laboratory test results, he said.

On a case involving a Canadian who was reported to have fainted at a shopping mall parking lot in the capital city which went viral on Wednesday, he said the girl was tested negative for coronavirus.

He said the 17-year-old teenager who was admitted to the isolation ward at HKL, had already been discharged from hospital.