Wednesday, April 1

Covid-19: Two new cases recorded in M’sia, total now 21

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Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (second left) takes one for the album in a symbolic gesture of handing over hand sanitiser to SK Desa Aman headmaster Shahidan Said (second right). – Bernama photo

KUALA SELANGOR: Two new Covid-19 cases were detected in the country overnight, bringing cumulative cases so far to 21.

However, as of yesterday (Feb 14), seven had recovered and were discharged from their respective hospitals.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the two new cases involved Chinese nationals, a man and a woman.

He said the man, who is the 20th case, is a 27-year-old businessman from Guangzhou and was found having symptoms during screening at the Bukit Kayu Hitam Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex in Kedah yesterday.

“Clinical samples were taken for testing and he was sent to the isolation ward at the Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital, Alor Setar, Kedah. This morning the throat swab taken confirmed he was positive for Covid-19.

“As for Case 21, the woman, aged 32, is a resident in Malaysia but visited China from Jan 22 to 30. She was confirmed positive for Covid-19 this morning,” he told reporters after opening the annual general meeting of Sekolah Kebangsaan Desa Aman Desa Coalfield’s Parent-Teacher Association here today.

At the event, Dzulkefly also handed over 5,000 bottles of hand sanitisers contributed by Elite Advanced Materials Sdn Bhd, for use by 35 schools in the district.

In his speech, the Kuala Selangor MP advised the people not to panic over the Covid-19 situation in the country, saying the government had things well under control.

He said even though the infection rate in China, where Covid-19 started, was at 4.8 to five per cent, in Malaysia and rest of the world, it was only from 0.5 to one per cent.

“This rate is far lower than that for the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)  and Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) which were at 10 per cent and 30 per cent,” he said.

In Kuala Lumpur, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement said the man arrived in Malaysia on Feb 1 for business purposes.

He said the man went to Thailand on Feb 12 and returned to Malaysia via the Bukit Kayu Hitam entry point the next day.

The woman, he said, is married to a Malaysian and had gone to China to visit her family.

Upon returning to Malaysia, he said she experienced a severe sore throat and was referred to a hospital for further checks and on finding her to be positive, was admitted to the isolation ward at the Sultanah Maliha Hospital in Langkawi.

Meanwhile, giving a breakdown on the cumulative cases, the director-general said 11 were from the Patient-Under-Investigation category, eight contracted the virus due to close contact with positive cases while two were from among the  Malaysians evacuated from Wuhan City in China, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Of the 21, 15 are Chinese nationals and the rest Malaysians.

He added that 282 close contacts of the positive cases had been identified and that the figure was expected to increase until the tracing process was completed.

Of the total, 197 are Malaysians, 54 Chinese nationals and 31 other nationalities.

“Samples have been taken from all of them and they have been placed under supervision for observation,” said Dr Noor Hisham. — Bernama