KUALA LUMPUR: A trainee nurse has been infected with Covid-19, the first healthcare worker to be infected with the disease in Malaysia.
The 20-year-old was one of the four new Covid-19 cases reported at noon Sunday (March 1), said the Health Ministry.
All the four cases were Malaysians and this brings the total number of those infected with Covid-19 to 29.
The trainee, who was labelled as case 27, was undergoing short-term training at a private hospital and had treated case 24. She was identified as a close contact during tracing by the health district office.
On Feb 21 and 22, she had handled the case without wearing any personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended.
On Feb 27, she started coughing and tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb 29.
She was sent to the isolation ward in Hospital Kuala Lumpur for treatment and further observation, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement on Sunday.
Meanwhile, case 26, a Malaysian man aged 52 had a history of travel to Shanghai, China in mid-January. He started having fever and sore throat on Feb 27 and sought outpatient treatment in a private hospital on the same day.
A Covid-19 test was carried out he tested positive on Feb 29. He was admitted to the isolation ward in Hospital Sungai Buloh for treatment and further observation.
Case 28 is a Malaysian man aged 45, a colleague of case number 25.
He, case 25 and another colleague had travelled to Milan, Italy from Feb 15 to 21.
From close contact tracing, he was found to have symptoms since Feb 26. He tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb 29 and was sent to the isolation ward in Hospital Sungai Buloh.
Case 29 is a Malaysian woman aged 35 who was admitted to a private hospital on Feb 21 and placed in a room with case 24, whose situation was not known then.
On Feb 25, she was allowed to return home, but started feeling unwell and had a fever and cough on Feb 27. She did not get any treatment.
During close contact tracing, she was identified as a close contact of case 24. She tested positive for Covid-19 on Feb 29 and was sent to the isolation ward in Hospital Sungai Buloh.
On Sunday, a meeting on Covid-19 patients and suspected case management among private hospitals and clinics were held at the national level to increase understanding of the disease among private health practitioners as well as getting them prepared to face the Covid-19 situation, said Dr Noor Hisham.
"Private healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics and private laboratories play an important role in ensuring maximum preparedness in overcoming Covid-19 spread.
"All health facilities are reminded to always implement optimum infection prevention and control at all times," he said.
In addition, the mechanism for early detection and isolation should be strengthened, he said.
The cooperation between the government and private sector is very important to ensure that Malaysia is able to control and fight Covid-19 incidence effectively, he added.
For any information on Covid-19, call the national CPRC Infoline 03-8881 0200/03-8881 0600/03-8881 0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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