Malaysian health authorities on Thursday (Feb 13) confirmed a new coronavirus infection involving a woman from China, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 19.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 39-year-old victim, who arrived from Wuhan, China, on Jan 25, is believed to be linked to two other victims, also from Wuhan, who are being treated at the isolation ward in the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.
The two others are her mother and a friend. They tested positive for the coronavirus on Feb 5 and Feb 7.
The 39-year-old victim was initially placed under home surveillance and monitoring.
“She had arrived in Malaysia from China on Jan 25 with four other women. While under surveillance, she began developing symptoms such as cough and fever on Feb 12.
“She was then admitted to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital. Tests conducted on the same day found her positive for Covid-19,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
To date, Chinese nationals make up 13 of the cases in Malaysia, while the remaining six are Malaysians.
Malaysia’s first coronavirus patients were China tourists who had entered the country via Johor Baru from Singapore, while its first local patient had attended a conference in Singapore.
Malaysia confirmed the first local patient on Feb 4, saying the man had travelled to Singapore for a meeting from Jan 16 to 23 with colleagues from China, which included one person from Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic.
On Feb 11, Singapore and Malaysia announced a joint working group, to strengthen cooperation in tackling the spread of the coronavirus, will be set up given the high volume of travel between Singapore and Malaysia.
To date, three patients in Malaysia have recovered from the coronavirus and have been discharged. They are from China.