Malaysia confirms two new patients, bringing total coronavirus infections count to 14

Travellers at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Feb 4, 2020. One of Malaysia's two new caes of the coronavirus is a female Chinese tourist from Wuhan, and the other is a Malaysian woman who had direct contact with Malaysia's first local patient. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian authorities announced two more confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Thursday (Feb 6), bringing the total tally to 14.

The two new patients tested positive the previous day. One of them is a female Chinese tourist from Wuhan and the other a Malaysian woman who had direct contact with Malaysia's first local patient.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad announced that the 37-year-old Chinese tourist arrived on Jan 25 from Wuhan in a group of five and had toured around major tourist sites in Kuala Lumpur.

She visited a hospital on Feb 1 after experiencing mild fever and was allowed to go back to her lodging but was told to self-quarantine with the group.

Follow-up monitoring by the district health office found the tourist to be still ill and she was referred to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on Feb 5 and admitted.

Meanwhile, the Malaysian woman who is infected is the younger sibling of a man from Selangor who visited Singapore for a conference attended by Chinese delegates.

The woman is now warded in Kedah.

"The latest case had direct contact with the existing patient after he returned to his hometown for the Chinese New Year celebrations on Jan 23," Datuk Seri Dr Dzukefly told reporters.

The woman, 40, began displaying symptoms on Feb 1 and had visited a private clinic for treatment. After the elder sibling was confirmed positive for coronavirus, she was identified through contact tracing and admitted into hospital. Other family members tested negative for the virus.

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Dr Dzulkefly said Malaysia remains in containment stage and advised those who have been asked to conduct self-quarantine to obey the orders.

"They should not have any close contact for long periods," the minister said.

Raising caution over this weekend's Thaipusam celebration at Batu Caves, a major Hindu temple and tourist attraction, Dr Dzulkefly said thousands of domestic and foreign visitors are expected to visit.

"The health ministry would like to advise devotees and visitors to take early prevention steps by prioritising personal hygiene through frequent hand washing with water and soap or hand sanitiser, and wearing face mask to prevent from getting infected by coronavirus," the minister added.

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