Health Ministry: Four suspected cases test negative for Wuhan virus (updated)

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 Jan 2020

PETALING JAYA: Tests on four patients suspected to have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus have come back negative.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (pic) said the national Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) received a report of four suspected cases.

Dr Noor Hisham said the patients were placed in isolation for treatment and further investigation.

"Laboratory tests on three patients were found to be negative for the coronavirus," he said.

On Thursday night (Jan 23) he confirmed that a fourth case in Sibu had also come back negative for the virus and the patient was found to be infected with the Influenza A virus.

"The (fourth) patient is recovering and is in stable condition," he said,

"Samples of these cases have been sent to the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) for testing and confirmation.

"The test results will be available as soon as possible," he said in an earlier statement on Thursday.

Dr Noor Hisham urged the public to delay their travels to Wuhan, China, unless it was for important matters that could not be avoided.

He also advised those who had returned to Malaysia after travelling to Wuhan to take precautionary measures.

Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysians in Wuhan should practise high hygiene standards such as frequent washing of hands using water and soap or using sanitisers.

He added that masks as well as hand sanitisers should be used and to avoid public places and mingle with those exhibiting symptoms.

"Avoid visiting farms, markets that sell live animals, abattoirs or touch any animals. During visits, avoid consuming raw animal produce or those that are not fully cooked," he said.

Dr Noor Hisham advised the public to seek immediate medical care if they suffer symptoms such as fever, cough or breathing difficulties within 14 days of returning from Wuhan, adding that they should inform the attending doctor of their past travels.

He noted that the Ministry would continue to monitor the situation and information from the World Health Organisation, adding that notifications on developments would be provided.

Dr Noor Hisham pointed out that the Ministry had, among others, boosted health screening activities at all international entry points, and were working together with agencies to enable rapid tracking of symptomatic travellers.

The outbreak of a new form of coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province, has so far caused 17 fatalities with 571 individuals infected.

Meanwhile, Malaysian diplomatic missions in China are ready to extend assistance to any Malaysian in the country.

"Malaysians residing or travelling in the affected areas are advised to give utmost priority to their personal health and safety by taking precautionary measures and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.

"Malaysians requiring consular assistance and services may contact the nearest Malaysian diplomatic missions in China," Wisma Putra said in a statement.

Malaysian diplomatic missions in China are located in Beijing, Guangzhou, Kunming, Nanning, Shanghai, Xi'an Hong Kong and Taipei.

Wisma Putra also advised Malaysians to defer all non-essential travel to Wuhan and other areas that may be affected by the virus.

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