PUTRAJAYA (BERNAMA) – Two of the 107 Malaysians and non-Malaysian spouses and children airlifted out of coronavirus-hit Wuhan in China yesterday have tested positive for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
This brings cumulative cases of the coronavirus in Malaysia to 12.
Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the two new cases involved a 45-year-old man and his son, aged nine, and that they were now at an isolation ward at the Tuanku Ja’afar Hospital in Seremban.
“Both of them did not show any symptoms on arrival but were confirmed positive for the coronavirus at the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT) in Bandar Enstek, Nilai di Negeri Sembilan,” he told the daily press conference to update on the 2019-nCoV situation in Malaysia.
Both the father and son are Malaysians.
AKEPT is the quarantine centre for the evacuees from Wuhan. They will be quarantined there for 14 days.
Dzulkefly said the man returned on the airlift mission along with his wife and daughter but only the father and son tested positive for the coronavirus.
He explained that they tested positive via throat swabs.
He pointed out that of the 12 positive cases in Malaysia now, nine involved China nationals and the rest Malaysians.
As for the two other Malaysian evacuees from Wuhan who were sent to Kuala Lumpur Hospital after failing screening at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the minister said both tested negative for the coronavirus.
The evacuation of the 88 Malaysians and 19 non-Malaysian next-of-kin was completed in just over 14 hours, with a special AirAsia aircraft departing Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) at 3.50pm on Monday and returning to KLIA with the evacuees by 6am yesterday.
The flight had departed klia2 with 12 crew members and eight mission officials – six Health Ministry officials, one National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) official and one Foreign Ministry official.
On risks to other passengers, crew and the others on board the flight, the minister said all had to undergo coronavirus screening.
“We cannot miss one or two individuals. We will leave no stone unturned. They will be monitored for 14 days,” he stressed.
He explained that of the 12 positive coronavirus cases in Malaysia, five were from the Patient-under-investigation (PUI) category, five were infected through close contact while the latest, the two Malaysians who returned via the airlift mission.
As of this morning, cumulative PUI cases stood at 257 people involving 161 Malaysians, 91 Chinese nationals, and one each from Australia, South Korea, Jordan, Brazil and Thailand, he said.
He added that besides the 12 positive cases, 235 cases were negative while 17 were still awaiting laboratory results.
The 2019-nCoV which broke out in Wuhan has since spread around the globe. Up to 492 people have died and more than 24,000 confirmed cases have been reported as of yesterday.
Two of the deaths occurred outside China, one in the Philippines and the other in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency.