Coronavirus: Two new cases detected in Malaysia, bringing total to 21

A woman in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 13, 2020, wearing a protective face mask amid fears over the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Two more coronavirus cases have been identified in Malaysia, bringing the total number to 21, said the Malaysian Health Ministry on Saturday (Feb 15).

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said the two cases involved Chinese nationals - one a businessman aged 27 and the other a woman aged 32.

The man from Guangzhou was found to be symptomatic when he was screened at the entry point at Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah on Friday.

"Clinical sample (throat swab) was taken, and this morning the test result confirmed he has Covid-19," said Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly, in using the name of the virus.

"He was admitted to the isolation ward in Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Kedah."

The other case is a woman living in Malaysia but had gone back to China to visit her family from Jan 22 to 30.

She too tested positive for the virus upon returning.

Of the 21 positive cases in the country, 15 are Chinese nationals, while the remaining six are Malaysians. Seven Chinese nationals, however, were discharged after recovering.

Meanwhile, Malaysia is expected to mount a second repatriation to China to bring back the remaining Malaysians stranded in Hubei province.

Sources said the operation is expected to be carried out in over a week's time.

It is estimated that about 100 Malaysian citizens, their spouses and children will take the second flight home.

They have been told to be on standby for their return, scheduled for Feb 24.

Embassy officials could not be reached for comment at press time, but Putrajaya is expected to announce the details soon.

It was reported on Feb 3 that plans were made to evacuate a total of 167 Malaysians and their non-citizen family members from Wuhan.

However, only 133 passengers boarded the special flight that arrived safely in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 4.

They comprised 107 who were stranded in China as well as 12 crew members, eight humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) mission personnel and six officers from the Malaysian embassy in Beijing.

Malaysians returning from Wuhan will be quarantined and monitored for 14 days to ensure they are free from the coronavirus.

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