Three more suspected coronavirus cases awaiting results of lab tests, says health minister

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks to media after the special meeting and briefing session in Putrajaya January 28, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks to media after the special meeting and briefing session in Putrajaya January 28, 2020. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

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PUTRAJAYA, Jan 28 — As at noon today, three more new cases of suspected 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) are awaiting laboratory test results, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad.

He said the three cases, all involving Chinese nationals, were received within the past 24 hours.

“Out of the three persons under investigation (PUI), two cases are in Langkawi and one in Bintulu.

“All the three cases involved China nationals,” he told reporters after a special meeting to discuss issues on the coronavirus outbreak, chaired by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi here today.

Dzulkefly said the results of the laboratory test on five other cases reported last Monday, two of which were in Langkawi, two in Kuala Lumpur and one in Bintulu, had come back negative.

The number of positive cases of 2019-nCoV in Malaysia currently remains at four, with all involving China nationals, he said.

Dzulkefly said the coronavirus cases in Malaysia were identified through two methods — close contacts with someone positive with the 2019-nCoV, and showing symptoms of suspected coronavirus infection and become a PUI.

Of the four positive cases, he said, three were identified through close contacts, and the other was a PUI case.

So far, he said there were 65 PUI for coronavirus in Malaysia, 34 of whom were Malaysian citizens, 30 were China nationals and one Jordanian.

One of the 65 PUI was tested positive for 2019-nCoV, three still awaiting lab test results and 61 others were tested negative.

When asked whether Malaysia will be using HIV drugs as treatment for coronavirus as being done in China, Dzulkefly said: “The effectiveness of the drugs needs to be verified first.” — Bernama

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