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COVID-19 virus in Malaysia: A timeline of events from the start

COVID-19 virus in Malaysia: A timeline of events from the start

Updated daily

Text: Rachel Au


Malaysia is currently under the Movement Control Order due to the COVID-19 virus—here's how it all began

Head to "COVID-19 virus in Malaysia: Here's everything you need to know-updated daily" for the latest updates, stats and numbers

STATS IN MALAYSIA
CASES: 7,619
DEATHS: 115
RECOVERED: 6,083
Last updated on 27 May 2020 at 5:09pm
For the full list, head over here.

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UPDATE: 31 March 2020, 5:40pm

  • 58 patients have been discharged, bringing the total recovered to 537
  • Meanwhile, 140 new cases have been reported today, increasing the total COVID-19 cases in Malaysia to 2,766
  • 94 of them are in ICU, including 60 patients who need the assistance of ventilators
  • Unfortunately, six new deaths have been reported. The death toll now stands at 43
  • The 38th death: Case 2,269th was a 48-year-old Malaysian who had high blood pressure and was believed to have contracted the virus from close contact with Case 2,750. She was treated at HTJ Seremban on 25 March
  • The 39th death: Case 2,626th was a 69-year-old man who had diabetes and high blood pressure. He also recently travelled to Arab Saudi. Sadly, he passed away at home on 27 March and his body was then taken to Hospital Kuala Lumpur
  • The 40th death: Case 2,627th was a 69-year-old man who had diabetes and high blood pressure. He was treated at Hospital Enche' Besar Hajjah Khalsom, Johor
  • The 41st death: Case 1,275th was a 40-year-old Indonesian man who was treated at Hospital Umum Sarawak on 20 March
  • The 42nd death: Case 2,628th was an 81-year-old Malaysian man who also had a case of heart disease. He was treated at Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya on 27 March
  • The 43rd death: Case 2,629th was a 73-year-old Malaysian man who had both diabetes and heart disease. He was treated at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah, Klang on 29 March
  • Beginning 3 April, all Malaysians who return from overseas will have to be brought straight to the quarantine centres from the airport for a 14-day quarantine
  • So far, 4,374 Malaysians are stuck in 56 countries due to the global travel restrictions, as revealed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Most of them are in India—a total of 2,156 Malaysians but most are expected to be brought back via specially chartered flights
  • In addition, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced the "one person per car" ruling to take effect in the second phase of the MCO

 

UPDATE: 30 March 2020, 8:11pm

  • Menara City One in Kuala Lumpur has been placed under lockdown after 17 people from there have tested positive for COVID-19. According to MalaysiaKini, this means "3,200 residents in 502 residential units and 49 shops at the condominium" are not allowed to leave the building till April 13. Food can be ordered online and delivered to the lobby, and businesses selling essential goods in the complex may continue to do so. A medical base will also be set up there while a COVID-19 screening will be done unit-to-unit
  • The Health Ministry has just reported that 91 patients have recovered, bringing the total discharged to 479 people. The good news is that this is the highest number of recoveries in a day
  • The update on the total COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, however, is now at 2,626, after 156 new cases were reported today
  • 94 of them are in ICU with 62 of them requiring ventilators
  • Sadly, the death toll is now at 37
  • The 37th death: Case 2,471st was a 46-year-old Malaysian woman who had autoimmune disesase as well as high blood pressure
  • The 36th death: Case 1,941st was a 47-year-old local man who was treated at Hospital Umum Sarawak
  • The 35th death involved a 57-year-old Malaysian woman who had travel history to Indonesia. She developed symtoms within five days before she was admitted to Hospital Putrajaya and then Hospital Kuala Lumpur and Hospital Sungai Buloh
  • Meanwhile, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that there will be stricter measures in the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO). According to The Malay Mail, "eateries, markets, and petrol stations will only be allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm daily for the entire 14 days of the MCO's second phase." There will also be an increase of roadblocks and "checking on the movement of people". In addition, he said, "Those who are autistic and disabled would be allowed to receive the therapy they need as advised by health experts, but we will not allow it to be in a group as previously mentioned." The second phase of the MCO refers to 1-14 April 2020
  • The Health Ministry has also released a list of red zone areas and recommend the people living in these parts to especially adhere to the Movement Control Order and practise social distancing:

 

 

 

UPDATE: 29 March 2020, 5:25pm

  • 68 people have recovered, bringing the total discharged to 388 patients—the highest reported in a day, so far
  • Today, 152 new cases were reported and the total now stands at 2,470
  • 73 patients are in ICU, including 52 of them who require ventilators
  • Sadly, there have been seven more deaths. The death toll is now at 34 people
  • The 28th death: Case 2,321st was a 91-year-old woman who had a medical history of diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. She was being treated at PPUM on 26 March
  • The 29th death: Case 2,123rd was a 64-year-old woman with a diabetes and high blood pressure. She was treated at Hospital Tuanku Ja'afar, Negeri Sembilan
  • The 30th death: Case 2,322nd was a 76-year-old man who had diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney problems. He was treated at PPUM
  • The 31st death: Case 2,323rd was a 27-year-old man who had diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. He was treated at PPUM
  • The 32nd death: Case 1,239th was a 50-year-old man who had high blood pressure and was an attendee of the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering. He was treated at Hospital Enche' Besar Hjh Kalson, Johor
  • The 33rd death: Case 1,249th was a 37-year-old man who had travelled to India recently. He was treated at Hospital Permai, Johor
  • The 34th death: Case 787th was a 77-year-old man who had high blood pressure. He was treated at Hospital Kuala Lumpur on 18 March

 

 

UPDATE: 28 March 2020, 5:35pm

  • The good news is that 61 people have been cured, increasing the total discharged to 320 patients
  • On the other hand, 159 new cases were reported today, bringing the total cases to 2,320
  • 73 people are in ICU while 54 of them require the assistance of ventilators
  • Unfortunately, there has been another death—Case 2,162nd was a 61-year-old Malaysian man who had high blood pressure and diabetes
  • The Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah added in his message that the news of a COVID-19 patient committing suicide is false. There has been a suicide case but it did not involve a COVID-19 patient
  • The police has arrested 11 joggers in Mont Kiara for not adhering to the MCO orders, as well as the warnings and advice given. The Malay Mail reports the breakdown of the suspects to be of varied nationalities, including two Malaysians: United Kingdom (one), United States (one), Japan (four), South Korea (two) and India (one). They were found jogging around Jalan Mont Kiara and Jalan Desa Kiara in Kuala Lumpur between 7.30am and 9.30am and provided "unreasonable excuses as to why they were outdoors."
  • According to the news portal, authorities has banned outdoor running as part of the MCO and this applies even within gated vicinities
  • The daily also reported: "The World Health Organisation (WHO) has chosen Malaysia as one of the countries that will conduct joint research on the Remdesivir drug that is used to treat the Covid-19 infection"
  • Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also announced that a major cleaning and disinfection exercise was carried out today in the vicinity of the Seri Petaling Mosque. Around 100 DBKL and Alam Flora staff were there with specialised equipment to sanitise the area as directed by the National Security Council and the Health Ministry

 

UPDATE: 27 March 2020, 5:49pm

  • Today's report from the Health Ministry announces 130 new cases, bringing the total up to 2,161 COVID-19 cases in the country
  • 54 patients are currently in ICU, including 34 of them who requires the assistance of ventilators
  • 44 patients have recovered, increasing the total discharged to 259 people
  • The death toll is now at 26 cases
  • The 26th death being Case 1,321st, a 53-year-old Malaysian man who had close contact with Case 1,309th
  • The 25th death involved Case 2,032nd, an 83-year-old local with a history of chronic illness
  • The 24th death in the country has been announced by Crisis Preparedness and Response Center MOH on their Telegram channel. Case 1,056th was a 35-year-old Malaysian who has travelled to Indonesia early March. The patient developed symptoms five days before being admitted to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on March 18
  • PM Muhyiddin Yassin has announced a RM250 billion economic stimulus package known as package prihatin or caring package. According to The Star, it's meant to benefit all Malaysians. Like so:
  • "National Caring Aid (Bantuan Prihatin Nasional) involving one-off cash payment of RM10bil will be given to the B40 and M40 group, including private workers, farmers and fishermen. This includes RM1,600 to four million households earning RM4,000 and below; RM1,000 for households earning RM4,000 above; RM800 for single Malaysians aged 21 and above earning RM2,000 and below; RM500 for single Malaysians aged 21 and above earning between RM2,000 and RM4,000."
  • It also includes free internet for a limited time period, as well as better discounts for electricity bills. You can read more of the highlights here
  • Meanwhile, there is a message going around on Whatsapp and social media that Selangor will soon be under a lockdown. This message has been refuted by the police. It is not true

 

UPDATE: 26 March 2020, 5:19pm

  • At 235 new COVID-19 cases, today holds the record of the highest number of cases reported in a day. The total now stands at 2,031
  • 60 of those new cases are from the tabligh cluster case
  • 45 patients are in ICU with 32 of them needing ventilators
  • As of 5pm, the death toll is now at 23
  • Meanwhile, 215 people in total have recovered, including 16 new patients who have been discharged today
  • In other news, the King and Queen—Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah—have tested negative for the coronavirus. This, after seven Istana Negara staff tested positive. The King and Queen, however, will observe the 14-day quarantine, as reported by The Star
  • The 22nd death case: Case 1,797th was a 48-year-old Malaysian man who had chronic illness and was at the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering as well as had close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus
  • The 23rd death case: Case 1,840th was a 62-year-old Malaysian man who also had a history of chronic illness. The source of his infection is still under investigation
  • The 21st death in the country by the coronavirus has been reported: Case 1,588th was a 63-year-old local with a history of chronic illness and was an attendee at the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering
  • 80 healthcare workers under the Health Ministry has tested positive for the coronavirus but the cause is not from working at the government healthcare facilities

 

UPDATE: 26 March 2020, 9:33am

  • Unfortunately, another death has been reported late last night. The 20th death case involves a 76-year-old Malaysia man who attended the Sri Petaling tabligh
  • The Health Ministry also updated that 9,026 people from the cluster gathering at Masjid Sri Petaling have been tested:
  • 1,057 have tested positive
  • 5,625 people tested negative
  • 2,704 people are still pending for the results
  • The ministry also tweeted that people who smoke tobacco products could be at an increased risk of "becoming very sick if they contract COVID-19".

 

UPDATE: 25 March 2020, 5:35pm

  • Just in: Two more deaths have been reported, bringing the death toll so far up to 19
  • The 18th death case: Case 1,625 was a 56-year-old local man with a chronic illness and was being treated at Hospital Sultan Ismail, Johor
  • The 19th death case: Case 1,246 is a 68-year-old Malaysian woman who was being treated at Hospital Sultanah Nora Ismail
  • Meanwhile, 45 patients are in ICU at the moment, with 34 of them requiring ventilators to assist with their breathing
  • The good news is that 16 more people have recovered and have been discharged

 

UPDATE: 25 March 2020, 1:27pm

  • BREAKING: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has just announced in his latest address that the Movement Control Order will be extended to 14 April 2020. With the latest total COVID-19 cases standing at 1,796 today, the decision was made after observing the high increase of cases in just one week. He added, "Please stay calm and don't panic. Even though we have extended the Movement Control Order, you don't have to unneccessarily stock up on food because the supply is sufficient."
  • The new total comes after 172 cases were reported today
  • PM Muhyiddin added that the Health Ministry has prepared for the rising outbreak. They have, to date, prepared 3,585 beds at 34 hospitals in the country. At the moment, hospital beds are at 34 per cent capacity, leaving 66 per cent for potential new patients
  • Should the capacity be filled, the government has identified several places as isolation and quarantine centres
  • There are also plans to conduct mass testings in areas with high risks of COVID-19. The Health Ministry will also increase the capacity for COVID-19 tests on a bigger scale
  • PM Muhyiddin said, "Just be mentally and physically prepared to stay at home for a reasonably longer period of time."
  • In his address, he also advised people to stay where they are. People who are in their hometowns should stay there while offices should remain closed
  • He assured the public that all essentials will be available and sufficient—from food to electricity and water, to trash collection and communication services
  • He will announce another economy package for the citizens this Friday, mostly for the lower income individuals
  • The 16th fatality from the COVID-19 virus was announced at midnight—Case 1,334 was a 75-year-old Malaysian man who passed away at Hospital Kuala Lumpur
  • The 17th death in Malaysia related to the COVID-19 virus has been announced at noon by Crisis Preparedness and Response Center MOH on their Telegram channel today. Case 1,251 was a 66-year-old Malaysian man with a history of a few chronic illnesses. He started showing symptoms a week before he was admitted to Hospital Pakar Sultanah Fatimah in Muar on March 20. He was in a critical condition when he arrived at the Emergency Ward
  • Both of the new deaths are still under investigation as to where they could have contracted the virus

 

UPDATE: 24 March 2020, 6:22pm

  • Just in: Another death from the COVID-19 virus has just been reported. The total number of deaths now stand at 15
  • 15th death (Case 1519): A 71-year-old Malaysian man from Malacca who was suspected to have had close contact with Case 703, who attended the Masjid Sri Petaling tabligh. He had a history of chronic illness and was being treated at Hospital Pakar Sultanah Fatimah from March 18
  • 106 new positive COVID-19 cases have been reported today in Malaysia. The total is now at 1,624 cases
  • Out of the 106 cases, 43 of them are from the tabligh cluster cases
  • 64 patients are now in ICU
  • 24 patients have been cured and discharged today
  • In other news, the Health Ministry have announced that they have tested 8,954 people from the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering.
  • 986 of them tested positive
  • 5,245 people tested negative
  • 2,704 are still awaiting results

 

UPDATE: 23 March 2020, 6:19pm

  • It is with great sadness that we share that the total number of deaths in Malaysia has now risen to 14 people. This, after four more deaths were reported today by the Health Ministry
  • The 11th death case (Case 1,070): A 70-year-old Malaysian man with a history of chronic illness and travel history to Indonesia in February
  • The 12th death case (Case 1,114): A 70-year-old Malaysian man who attended the gathering at Masjid Jamek
  • The 13th death case (Case 1,006): A 49-year-old Malaysian man who was the child of case 1,031 who is being treated at Hospital Umum Sarawak
  • The 14th death case (Case 595): A 51-year-old Malaysian woman who had close contact with the tabligh cluster case and was treated at Hospital Miri

 

 

  • Malaysia has reported 212 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total up to 1,518 cases
  • 123 of these new cases are related to the tabligh cluster cases
  • 57 of these cases are currently in ICU, including 27 that need ventilators to assist with their breathing
  • The good news is that 20 patients have recovered and have been discharged, increasing the total recovered to 159
  • Selangor, followed by Kuala Lumpur, is so far the state with the highest number of the coronavirus

 

  • Meanwhile, "the National Security Council will meet before the movement control order (MCO) ends to decide if the two weeks enforcement period is sufficient, or need to be extended, says Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin" according to The Star
  • In addition, Malaysians aged 55 and below will be allowed to withdraw a maximum of RM500 monthly from their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Account Two to buy essential goods, for a period of over 12 months—an initiative announced by PM Muhyiddin today. Applications will open beginning April 1
  • The other good news shared today include the government announcing free masks once a new shipment arrives.  "I have agreed and would like to announce that when it (face masks) reaches, we will distribute it for free to all Malaysians who need it," said PM Muhyiddin

 

UPDATE: 23 March 2020, 6:19pm

  • It is with great sadness that we share that the total number of deaths in Malaysia has now risen to 14 people. This, after four more deaths were reported today by the Health Ministry
  • The 11th death case (Case 1,070): A 70-year-old Malaysian man with a history of chronic illness and travel history to Indonesia in February
  • The 12th death case (Case 1,114): A 70-year-old Malaysian man who attended the gathering at Masjid Jamek
  • The 13th death case (Case 1,006): A 49-year-old Malaysian man who was the child of case 1,031 who is being treated at Hospital Umum Sarawak
  • The 14th death case (Case 595): A 51-year-old Malaysian woman who had close contact with the tabligh cluster case and was treated at Hospital Miri

 

 

  • Malaysia has reported 212 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total up to 1,518 cases
  • 123 of these new cases are related to the tabligh cluster cases
  • 57 of these cases are currently in ICU, including 27 that need ventilators to assist with their breathing
  • The good news is that 20 patients have recovered and have been discharged, increasing the total recovered to 159
  • Selangor, followed by Kuala Lumpur, is so far the state with the highest number of the coronavirus

 

  • Meanwhile, "the National Security Council will meet before the movement control order (MCO) ends to decide if the two weeks enforcement period is sufficient, or need to be extended, says Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin" according to The Star
  • In addition, Malaysians aged 55 and below will be allowed to withdraw a maximum of RM500 monthly from their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Account Two to buy essential goods, for a period of over 12 months—an initiative announced by PM Muhyiddin today. Applications will open beginning April 1
  • The other good news shared today include the government announcing free masks once a new shipment arrives.  "I have agreed and would like to announce that when it (face masks) reaches, we will distribute it for free to all Malaysians who need it," said PM Muhyiddin

*

The following updates first appeared in "COVID-19 virus in Malaysia: Here's everything you need to know-updated daily" and have been moved here for the purpose of a historical timeline.

 

UPDATE: 22 March 2020, 6:19pm

  • The Health Ministry has reported 123 new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total up to 1,306 positive cases in Malaysia
  • Sadly, another two deaths were announced today. The total deaths now stands at 10 cases
  • The 9th case being a 48-year-old Malaysian man with travel history to Turkey. The man was a specialist doctor under the Health Ministry. However, Crisis Preparedness and Response Center MOH has announced that his infection is most likely not from being one of the frontliners but from his trip to Turkey
  • The 10th case is a 74-year-old Malaysian man who was part of the tabligh cluster case
  • The good news is that another 25 patients have recovered. The total discharged thus far is now 139 cases
  • At the moment, Indonesia reports the highest death toll in the Southeast Asia region (38), followed by Philippines (25) and then Malaysia
  • Meanwhile, The Star reports: "Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has tested negative for Covid-19"

 

UPDATE: 21 March 2020, 7:15pm

  • Two more deaths have been reported in the last hour by Crisis Preparedness and Response Center MOH on their Telegram channel, bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities in Malaysia to 8
  • The 7th person to have died from the virus is a 57-year-old Malaysian man with a travel history to Vietnam and had contact with positive COVID-19 case from the tabligh cluster case. He was admitted to Kuala Lumpur Hospital on March 18
  • The 8th death case involves a 69-year-old Malaysian man who was part of the tabligh cluster case. He was admitted to Tumpat Hospital in Kelantan on March 16 after developing a fever since March 12

 

UPDATE: 21 March 2020, 5:59pm

  • 153 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Malaysia today. Of these, 90 are related to the tabligh gathering. The total cases in the country now tallies at 1,183
  • As of today, 27 cases have been cured—total discharged, thus, now stands at 114
  • Sadly, another death was reported today—case 238 was a 50-year-old Malaysian man who was part of the tabligh cluster case. He passed away at Hospital Melaka
  • UPDATE: At 5:13pm, Sarawak confirmed two more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to at least 6, according to MalaysiaKini—a mother and daughter, aged 79 and 40. The independent news site reported that the first death happened on March 18 but was reported late as the private hospital was awaiting lab results from Kuala Lumpur. The second victim in the family died this afternoon
  • In terms of the number of infected healthcare staff, a total of 24 (both Health Ministry and private healthcare) workers have tested positive
  • Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has announced they'll be taking 500 homeless people in KL to a designated location for screening
  • Selangor remains to be the state with the highest number of COVID-19 cases

  • The Director-General of Health Daturk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah shares that the ministry expects the number to increase in the next week and urges tabligh members involved to go for a screening. The identities of patients will not revealed without their permission, he added

 

UPDATE: 20 March 2020, 9:05pm

  • Malaysia has reported its third death from the COVID-19 virus—a 58-year-old Malaysian man who was part of the tabligh cluster case. He was the 152nd case, admitted on March 9 and passed away in Tawau Hospital, Sabah
  • The total number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has reached 1,030 after an additional 130 cases were reported today
  • 48 of those cases are related to the Sri Petaling gathering
  • The total recovered and discharged is now at 87 after 12 more cases have been cured
  • 26 cases, however, are in ICU

 

 

  • It has been reported that 12 Health Ministry healthcare workers and three from the private healthcare sector have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. One of the Health Ministry staff is currently in ICU on ventilatory support. The Health Ministry shared this on Twitter, urging the public to stay home

 

  • In other news...

  • BFM News has also reported that "employers of non-essential services as outlined by the government for the Movement Control Order can report their employers to the police if they have been forced to come into work throughout the period of the order." The Human Resources Ministry further adds that employers are prohibited from forcing employees to go on unpaid leave or use their annual leaves from March 18 to 31. Employers who do not follow this can be fined up to RM1,000 and/or be jailed for up to six months
  • During the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, 24-hour eateries will only operate from 6am to 10pm as stated by DBKL
  • From April 1 to September 30, 2020, all domestic electricity users will enjoy a 2 per cent discount for their electricity bills. Energy and Natural Resources Minister Datuk Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah said, "This means that people will enjoy a 2 per cent discount during the period, in addition to the 6 per cent discount already being enjoyed by domestic consumers for the period from Jan 1 to June 30, 2020."
  • Beginning Sunday, the army will be deployed to "assist the police in managing and enforcing the Movement Control Order (MCO)," according to Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri
  • Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is currently under self-quarantine after being in close contact with someone suspected of having Covid-19, as reported by The Star.

 

 

UPDATE: 19 March 2020, 5:48pm

  • Malaysia has reported another 110 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 900
  • Out of the 110 new cases, 63 of them are related to the Sri Petaling gathering
  • A total of 20 cases are in ICU at the moment
  • The good news is that 15 cases have been cured and discharged—the total of this now stands at 75
  • The Health Ministry also reports that none of the 900 positive COVID-19 cases in Malaysia are Indonesian, adding that 83 Malaysians have been identified from the recent Sulawesi gathering. The ministry assures the public that they will be quarantined upon their return home
  • At 223 cases so far, Selangor is the state with the highest number of cases.

 

 

UPDATE: 18 March 2020, 5:48pm

  • Today, another 117 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported. The total now stands at 790 cases in Malaysia. 15 of these patients are currently in ICU
  • 80 of these new cases are linked to the cluster case from the Sri Petaling gathering
  • 11 patients have recovered, bringing the total discharged to 60

 

UPDATE: 17 March 2020, 5:52pm

  • BREAKING: Malaysia records two COVID-19 deaths. One case involves a 60-year-old pastor (case 358) from Emanuel Baptist Chuch in Kuching, Sarawak. The man, who was chronically ill prior to contracting the virus, died at 11am today at Sarawak General Hospital, as reported by Channel News Asia
  • The article goes on to reveal that "193 close contacts of the deceased have been traced and are undergoing home-quarantine"
  • The second case (case 178) involves a 34-year-old Malaysian man who attended the Sri Petaling gathering, according to the Health Ministry. He started displaying symptoms on March 5 and was being treated at Permai Hospital on March 12 after testing positive. He was in critical condition and was in ICU.
  • In addition, Malaysia also saw another 120 cases of COVID-19 patients, bringing the total up to 673
  • Of the new 120 cases, 95 are linked to the cluster case from the Sri Petaling gathering
  • 622 patients are receiving treatment at the hospitals while 7 patients have been cured, bringing the total discharged to 49 at this point.
  • Meanwhile, the Health Ministry asserts that the public need to follow the Movement Control Order as failure to comply could lead to severe punishment. First-time offenders—sentenced to jail for not more than two (2) years or fined, or both. Second-time (or more) offenders—sentenced to jail for not more than five (5) years or fined, or both

 

UPDATE: 16 March 2020, 10:34pm

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has announced the following in his latest press conference on how Malaysia will be handling the COVID-19 crisis:

  • Movement restriction order nationwide beginning March 18 to 31
  • All religious and social activities to be cancelled; and all religious houses to close except for groceries stores
  • All Malaysians are prohibited from travelling overseas
  • Malaysians who are returning from overseas must observe self-quarantine for 14 days
  • No foreign tourists will be allowed entry into the country
  • All schools, kindergartens, public and international schools, as well as universities and colleges to close
  • All government and private offices to close, except for essential services such as—water, post offices, power supplies, petrol stations, broadcasting companies, banks, ports, airports, groceries and supermarkets.


 

UPDATE: 16 March 2020, 6:36pm

  • Just in: Malaysia has reported 125 new COVID-19 cases. 95 of these new cases are related to the Sri Petaling gathering. The total now stands at 553. Out of this number, 42 people have recovered
  • Meanwhile, at the press conference being livestreamed by the Health Ministry, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced the following, according to Channel News Asia's Malaysia Bureau Chief: "Some 33,000 Malaysians forced to take no pay leave will each receive RM600 a month for up to six months to cushion the impact of #COVID19. This will cost the government RM120 million"
  • This monthly cash aid will apply only to individuals earning less than RM4,000 a month and who are forced to take unpaid leave
  • So will Malaysia be under lockdown? That's the popular question right now. Bernama reports that the Prime Minister, however, said the government will announce the decision on how to manage the crisis later tonight
  • He also advises the public to refrain from panic buying as the government will ensure there's enough food supply at all times
  • The Health Ministry says Malaysia is now in the late containment stage. According to BFM News: "Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba says, Malaysia has now reached the late containment stage, in which legal action can be taken against those who refuse to cooperate."

 

UPDATE: 16 March 2020, 1:41pm

  • ICYMI: Malaysia has reported its largest number of cases in a day just yesterday—a whopping 190 cases. That, in addition, to the rising number a few days ago. The majority of these 190 cases are linked to the religious gathering that was held at Masjid Seri Petaling

 

 

  • The total, thus, now stands at 428—making Malaysia the country most badly affected in Southeast Asia—while the recovered cases tally up to 42
  • Meanwhile, the Health Ministry advises the public to refrain from holding "mass gatherings" with over 50 people
  • Just in: The Minister of Foreign Affairs Dato' Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein tweeted that 79 Malaysians will be brought home from Italy, and 49 Malaysians from Iran
  • At the moment, the following institutions have announced their temporary closure: Pusat Sains Negara, Planetarium Negara, Alice Smith School, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Garden International School, Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (UTHM)'s Pagoh campus

 

UPDATE: 13 March 2020, 3:21pm

  • ICYMI: 9 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the country, bringing Malaysia's total to 158
  • 6 cases have, however, recovered. In total, 32 cases have since recovered and have been discharged
  • Individuals who have no constant income while under quarantine can receive RM100 per day via Tabung COVID-19
  • Malaysians have been advised against travelling to Denmark while the country too will be enforcing a temporary entry ban for all citizens of Denmark, beginning March 14. Malaysian citizens, permanent residents and passholders who are returning from Denmark will have to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days

 

UPDATE: 12 March 2020, 6:30pm

  • The COVID-19 outbreak has been declared a pandemic, which according to WHO, means a "sudden increase in the number of cases all over the world, usually affecting a large number of people"
  • The first sporadic COVID-19 case in Malaysia has been reported. What it means is that the "infected person did not have any travel history to the affected countries or contact with an infected person", as described by New Straits Times. Singapore raised code orange after four sporadic cases were reported in the country. When asked if, thus, Malaysia needs to "upgrade its nationwide response mechanism to 'Heightened Risk' for the outbreak", health director-general Dr Noor Hisham responded that they will investigate the case first before making a collective decision
  • In addition, the Health Ministry has advised for mass gatherings to be postponed—this includes religious events and gatherings
  • ICYMI: Case 131 was among the 5,000 Malaysians who attended a tabligh (religious) gathering from February 28 to March 1 at Masjid Seri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur. As such, the Health Ministry has advised all attendees to immediately get tested should they show symptoms. The gathering was participated by around 10,000 people from several countries. A Brunei citizen who attended the event tested positive upon returning home
  • Meanwhile, religious affairs minister Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri has said there is no requirement to suspend Friday prayers at the moment. Instead, he advised taking other precautionary measures such as shortening the sermon. "Members of the congregation are also advised to make ablutions at home and wear face masks, while the mosque committees are to provide hand sanitisers as part of preventive measures. Those showing symptoms of COVID-19, however, need not attend the prayers, as they are categorised as those who are sick," Dr Zulkifli said during a press conference.

 

 

UPDATE: 11 March 2020, 5:58pm

  • 20 new cases have just been reported. The total number of COVID-19 cases now stand at 149
  • Case 78 has recovered and has been discharged. The number of cases that have recovered i Malaysia, so far, now stands at 26
  • Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has tweeted the following: "The Government has imposed a complete travel ban on all Italians, Iranians, South Koreans and other foreigners arriving from the country from entering Malaysia or transit at any points of entry effective March 13. - Minister of Health, YB Dato' Sri Dr Adham Baba."

 

UPDATE: 11 March 2020, 9:02am

  • 12 new cases have been reported in Malaysia, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia to 129. Out of this total, 25 patients have since recovered and have been discharged

 

UPDATE: 9 March 2020, 5:48pm

  • Just in: 18 new cases have been reported in Malaysia, bringing the country's total number of COVID-19 cases to a whopping 117. Two of these cases are now in ICU and six of these cases have a recent travel history.
  • Case 101 has a travel history to Iran

 

UPDATE: 9 March 2020, 11:13am

  • ICYMI: Malaysia has reached a total of 99 positive COVID-19 cases. This, after 16 more cases were reported over the weekend. All are linked to case 66
  • Case 41, however, has recovered quite quickly and has been discharged

 

UPDATE: 6 March 2020, 6:23pm

  • Malaysia's total number of COVID-19 cases have increased to 83 as of today. According to the Ministry of Health, the majority of the 28 new positive cases are a "second-generation" (close contact to close contact) to the cluster case (case 26)
  • If you're interested, case 26, UDA Holdings Bhd chairman Hisham Hamdan, has issued a public statement
  • ICYMI: Malaysians are advised against travelling to: Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna, Italy; Hokkaido, Japan; and Tehran, Qom and Gilan, Iran
  • Malaysia is temporarily restricting entry to visitors who have visited the cities mentioned above within the last 14 days—with the exception of citizens, permanent residents, social pass holders and Malaysia student passes

 

UPDATE: 5 March 2020, 7:31pm

  • Since our last update, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia now stands at 55, after another five new cases were reported today. These five new cases are related to case 26 but in total, 26 infected cases have been recorded from this cluster case.

 

UPDATE: 3 March 2020, 7:01pm

  • There are seven new reported cases of COVID-19 in Malaysia, bringing the total up to 36. All seven cases were in close contact with case 26
  • Case 30: A 38-year-old Malaysian man who has recent travel history to Australia
  • Case 31: A 50-year-old local man with no recent travel history
  • Case 32: A 43-year-old Malaysian woman with no recent travel history
  • Case 33: A 58-year-old Malaysian man who recently visited Kuching
  • Case 34: A 40-year-old Malaysian who works as a paramedic at a hospital that is treating case 26
  • Case 35: A 50-year-old Malaysian woman who recently travelled to Australia
  • Case 36: A 49-year-old man who travelled to Egypt
  • Only 14 cases are now being treated at the hospitals and are in stable conditions.

 

 

 

UPDATE: 1 March 2020, 6:13pm

  • Four new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Malaysia, bringing the total number of cases so far to 29.
  • Case 26th: A 52-year-old man who visited Shanghai in mid-January
  • Case 28th: A 45-year-old man who is a colleague of case 25 and had travelled together to Milan, Italy in mid-February
  • Case 29th: A 35-year-old woman who shared a room with case 24, "who at that time was not known to have contracted COVID-19 yet".

 

UPDATE: 28 February 2020, 4:38pm

  • Malaysia just reported its 24th and 25th COVID-19 case in the country. The 24th case involves a 41-year-old Japanese woman who works in Malaysia. She is currently receiving treatment at HKL. The 25th case is a 54-year-old Italian man who married a Malaysian, and has recent travel history to Italy for work purposes. He is warded at Sungai Buloh Hospital.
  • Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in South Korea, Malaysia will temporarily restrict entry of visitors from South Korea. In addition, there will be special immigration counters dedicated to visitors from the countries of South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran. This is effective immediately.
  • "Temporary entry restrictions on all visitors from South Korea, including foreigners that had been at Daegu city and Cheongdo district within 14 days before arrival in Malaysia. This covers visitors transiting through Malaysia. Malaysians, permanent residents and pass holders (long-term social visit pass and student pass) that had been at Daegu city and Cheongdo district within 14 days before entry to Malaysia need to undergo health screening by Malaysia's Health Ministry," said Director-General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

 

 

UPDATE: 28 February 2020, 11:10am

  • Malaysia has officially cured and discharged all of the previous 22 COVID-19 patients in the country. However, it was reported yesterday that Malaysia has received its 23rd case—a Malaysian who recently travelled back from Japan. She returned on February 23 and started feeling feverish. The 53-year-old proceeded to get treatment from a hospital in KL the very next day

  • There is currently no travel ban but the Ministry of Health has advised postponing any trips to South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran. "Members of the public are advised to postpone trips to South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran following a marked increase of cases in those countries, to ensure the continued safety of yourself, family and society in general," tweeted DG of Health, Datuk DR Noor Hisham Abdullah
  • Also: "Saudi Arabia temporarily suspends entry for Umrah pilgrimage over coronavirus fears"
  • News of cured COVID-19 patients testing positive again caused concern for most after it happened to 14 per cent of said patients in the Guangdong province. They've since been put under medical observation. However, according to Song Tie, deputy director of Guangdong Provincial Center of Disease Control and Prevention, via China Daily, usually after being infected by a virus, the person's body will create antibodies that prevent the virus in that person from being contagious. "Young patients with mild conditions may form antibodies in as little as two weeks. Even if they test positive, the risk of being contagious is low." But for some elderly patients, it takes longer. As such, "cases of cured patients testing positive again are attributable to the condition of their disease and their physical quality, which could lead to incomplete healing of lung inflammation," said Song.

 

UPDATE: 24 February 2020, 3:50pm

  • There has been no further cases in Malaysia. Only two patients remain under treatment after the 14th and 19th cases were successfuly discharged today

 

UPDATE: 21 February 2020, 3:45pm

  • To date, 17 COVID-19 cases in Malaysia have been cured and discharged. Only five patients are still being treated
  • There will be a second rescue mission to Wuhan come February 25. According to The Star Online, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said about 75 Malaysians as well as their spouses and children will be brought back in a special AirAsia flight. This, however, could be the final one. The second rescue mission will be handled similarly to the first one.

 

UPDATE: 18 February 2020, 6:51pm

  • So far, 11 COVID-19 cases in Malaysia have recovered and been discharged. This, after two more patients (Malaysia evacuees from Wuhan—case no. 11 and no. 12) were cured and discharged today. More about the other cured cases below:

  • As there has been no new cases reported, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia remains at 22
  • Meanwhile, according to the Health Minstry, the "107 Malaysians and family members who were evacuated from Wuhan through Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) mission on 4th February 2020 will be allowed to return back to their respective homes. All repeated COVID-19 tests were found to be negative."

 

UPDATE: 17 February 2020, 3:50pm

  • The 15th COVID-19 case in Malaysia has successfully been treated and was discharged yesterday, bringing the total number of patients who recovered from the virus to eight
  • The government has stopped allowing any passengers from the cruise ship that docked in Cambodia to enter the country. This includes any other ships that have docked or departed from China

 

UPDATE: 16 February 2020, 7:35am

  • The latest COVID-19 case in Malaysia is an 83-year-old American woman. She was among the 145 passengers on a cruise that docked in Cambodia and was then on a flight to Malaysia to fly home. She is now being treated in Sungai Buloh Hospital. To date, this brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 22.
  • The said cruise, WS Westerdam, was the same one that was rejected by four countries for fears of the COVID-19 virus. However, it finally docked in Cambodia and the passengers and crew were all allowed to fly home after the government there confirmed they've all passed the health checks. In light of the recent case, the Health Ministry will ensure all preventive and containment measures are continuously taken.

 

UPDATE: 15 February 2020, 4:05pm

  • According to the Health Ministry of Malaysia, two more people have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 21. The 20th case involves a 27-year-old Chinese national who showed symptoms at Bukit Kayu Hitam border. The 21st case is a 32-year-old Chinese national who married a local and is based here; but she travelled back to China to visit her family before returning to Malaysia on January 30
  • Meanwhile, four more COVID-19 patients have fully recovered and have been discharged, bringing the number of recovered cases to seven.

 

UPDATE: 14 February 2020, 10:35am

  • Over in Sarawak, there are four new patients suspected to be infected with the coronavirus, aka COVID-19 (its official name). To date, there have been a total of 80 patients under investigation (PUI) cases. 64 has tested negative while 16 are still waiting for the results

 

UPDATE: 13 February 2020, 6:50pm

  • Malaysia has reported its 19th positive case of the coronavirus. The 39-year-old woman from China is the daughter of Malaysia's 16th case and a friend to the 14th case. She arrived in Malaysia on January 25th and was quarantined after the two related cases were tested positive on February 5th and 7th. To date, the 19 coronavirus cases consist of six Malaysians and 13 Chinese nationals.

 

UPDATE: 12 February 2020, 10:05am

  • The Wuhan coronavirus has a new name. The World Health Organisation has announced its official name to be "COVID-19". The "co" stands for "corona", "vi" for virus, "d" for disease and "19" for the year it was identified (specifically, it was on December 31).
  • The UN health agency also went on to say that the virus is a "very grave threat" but there is a "realistic chance" of stopping it

 

UPDATE: 11 February 2020, 5:34pm

  • The Health Minister has stated that there is no need for employees to work from home at this current stage. However, those who are under quarantine due to the coronavirus should be given sick leave by the employers, according to the Human Resources Ministry. Employees cannot be asked to take unpaid leave or use their annual leave entitlement. "Employers must provide paid sick leave or hospitalisation entitlement during the quarantine period to employees receiving orders from registered medical practitioners, regardless whether the employee is quarantined at home or at the hospital," stated the guidelines released by the ministry
  • Professor Leo Yee Sin, executive director of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in Singapore, has shared that the "virus generally starts mild with non-specific symptoms such as cough, sore throat, slight fever and feeling tired". And thus, patients may experience these mild symptoms for at least a week before the virus affects the lungs.

 

UPDATE: 10 February 2020, 6:46pm

  • In total, three coronavirus patients in Malaysia have fully recovered and have been discharged
  • Malaysia has reported its 18th coronavirus case—a 31-year-old Malaysian who works in Macau and has travel history to China before returning to Malaysia on February 1. He's currently being treated at Sungai Buloh Hospital
  • Be wary of emails, links or attachments claiming to have legitimate information about coronavirus. Researchers with IBM X-Force and Kaspersky have found hackers sending spam emails containing malicious software programmed to copy personal information instead
  • Anyone in Sarawak who has recently been to Singapore must now self-quarantine themselves at home for 14 days

 

UPDATE: 9 February 2020, 5:43pm

  • Two more positive coronavirus cases have been reported in Malaysia. The 16th case being a 67-year-old Chinese national tourist and family friend of the 14th case that was detected on February 6. The 15th case involved a 59-year-old Chinese national tourist who is currently warded at Hospital Permai, Johor
  • Remember the first Malaysian man reported to have the coronavirus? The man who is believed to have contracted it while attending a conference at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Singapore? His mother-in-law is the 17th case in Malaysia. The 65-year-old woman had direct contact with him when they sat at the same table during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
  • Meanwhile, Malaysia has expanded its ban on visitors from China to include Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces

 

UPDATE: 8 February 2020, 11:04am

  • With now a total of 33 confirmed coronavirus cases in Singapore, the country has raised it alert to orange, the same level it reached during the 2003 SARS outbreak. It means the virus is severe in the country and passes easily from human to human
  • Diamond Princess, the cruise ship quarantined off Japan has reported another 41 people with the coronavirus, bringing the total up to 61 (out of 273). There were more than 3,700 passengers and crew on the ship when it docked in Yokohama to resupply for the quarantine that could last till February 19
  • Rapid KL has tightened its cleanliness measures in accordance with World Health Organisation (WHO) standards. Rapid bus drivers have to get their temperatures checked before commencing their duties and wearing a face mask throughout their shift. "On top of our daily routine bus-cleaning procedure, we have added a disinfectant which has been recommended by the WHO. Because Rapid buses ferry 478,000 passengers in a day, this is a measure taken to minimise the risk of being exposed to the coronavirus," said Rapid Bus chief executive officer Muhammad Yazurin Sallij. All airport shuttle buses have hand sanitisers as well
  • Rapid Rail is also practising similar precautions. "All seats, hand grips and stanchions are wiped with the recommended disinfectant as these are the most frequent touch-points on a train. Escalator handrails and elevator buttons are wiped clean with the approved disinfectant, three times a day. Previously, they were only wiped once a day. As for the washrooms, they are cleaned eight times a day," said chief executive officer Abdul Hadi Amran
  • Researchers at the South China Agricultural University have found that the endangered pangolin—a scaly mammal that's considered the most trafficked animal—could be the "potential intermediate host" for the coronavirus. Previous research have suggested that the new virus came from bats but needed an "intermediate host" to transmit to humans. Out of more than 1,000 samples from wild animals, the pangolin's genome sequences of viruses were 99 per cent identical to coronavirus patients.
  • Another study suggests that "diarrhoea may be a secondary path of transmission for the novel coronavirus." The primary path would be virus-laden droplets from an infected person's cough. It's as simple as remembering to flush, isn't it? Not quite. In the past, faecal transmission of SARS sickened hundreds in Hong Kong's Amoy Gardens housing estate in 2003 due to the rising plume of warm air originating in bathrooms and contaminating the apartments. It was further transported to the surrounding buildings via wind. "The 2019-nCoV virus found in stool may be transmitted through fecal spread," added Jiayu Liao, a bioengineer at the University of California, Riverside. But, he added, "We still do not know how long this virus can survive outside the body—HIV can only survive roughly 30 minutes outside the body—and what temperature range the 2019-nCoV is sensitive to."

 

UPDATE: 7 February 2020, 11:10am

  • Malaysia's total number of coronavirus cases has increased to 14 after a Malaysian woman and another woman from Wuhan tested positive. Having no history of visiting China, the 40-year-old Malaysian woman is the first case of local transmission. She is, however, the younger sister of the local man who tested positive last week. "She developed fever and sore throat on Feb 1, and started coughing on Tuesday. As soon as her brother was found to be positive, she was traced by the Health Ministry. She sought treatment and tested positive on Wednesday. Currently, she is at the isolation ward at Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah in Alor Setar and is in a stable condition," said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad at a press conference.
  • During the same conference, Dzulkefly explained, "This coronavirus is transmitted through droplets. This can be spread when the infected person sneezes or coughs. If you touch a surface which contains the infected droplet, and then you touch your face, you could contract the virus. But the droplets can only travel at most, a metre away from the person who emits them. If you are in the same room with an infected person, but the person does not emit droplets, the virus cannot infect you."

 

UPDATE: 6 February 2020, 10:24am

  • A social media post, which went viral yesterday, stating there is a 'Patient Under Investigation' (PUI) case for the coronavirus at a clinic in Sepang has since been denied by the Selangor State Health Department (JKNS). The case did not meet the criterias and health clinic was closed and decontaminated as a precaution only.
  • While there are news of some researchers either finding an effective drug or making a breakthrough in developing a vaccine against the virus, a representative for the World Health Organisation (WHO) has spoken out: "There are no known effective therapeutics against this 2019-nCoV (virus) and the WHO recommends enrolment into a randomized controlled trial to test efficacy and safety." According to Reuters, "the earliest that scientists hope to be able to start initial human trials of a new coronavirus vaccine is by June this year."

 

UPDATE: 5 February 2020, 5:19pm

  • The first person to be cured from the coronavirus in Malaysia has been reported. A four-year-old Chinese girl who was being treated in Langkawi since January 29 has been given the all-clear to return home to China. "This case shows the 2019-nCoV is treatable and the patient can recover fully, as many other cases in China have been reported. The perception that this disease is fatal to those who contract it is inaccurate," wrote Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on his Facebook page.
  • In a panic to buy face masks but find them sold out almost everywhere? Don't. The government has urged local manufacturers and importers to increase the production of face masks last week. However, people are advised against panic buying and retailers are reminded against increasing the prices (or face stern actions)
  • Singapore too has reported its first local human-to-human transmission, bringing the total number of infected cases to 24
  • Two Malaysians who were among the evacuated group from Wuhan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. They're both now in an isolation ward at Tuanku Ja'afar Hospital, Seremban.
  • A 17-year-old Canadian national in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) area was suspected to be infected with coronavirus. As a precaution, a team in full protective suits had been dispatched to the location. He has since been taken to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

 

UPDATE: 4 February 2020, 6:16pm

  • The AirAsia aircraft carrying 141 evacuated Malaysians (and 24 non-Malaysians who are family members) from Wuhan has safely arrived at KLIA this morning
  • They will all be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival, to which they will not be entering the KLIA building but brought straight to the special quarantined area. This includes the crew and and Health Ministry staff that were involved
  • Meanwhile, Chinese scientists in Wuhan have made a new discovery on the coronavirus and how it can transmitted through the digestive system and into human faeces
  • The first Malaysian to have been infected with the novel coronavirus has been reported. The man from Selangor has a history of recently travelling to Singapore and the Health Ministry is working with our neighbouring country to determine where the infection could have taken place.
  • Another case–a Chinese national–was also reported today, bringing the total number of infected cases in Malaysia to 10.

 

UPDATE: 3 February 2020, 10:40am

  • ICYMI: "All life insurance and takaful operators will provide hospitalisation coverage and treatment due to the 2019 novel coronavirus to their policyholders and certificate holders." So do check with your life insurance companies and takaful operators for more info on the coverage
  • The first death from the coronavirus outside of China has been reported in the Philippines

 

UPDATE: 31 January 2020, 10:40am

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) has finally declared the coronavirus a "global health emergency". The decision was made after reports of human-to-human transmission.
  • READ MORE: What does a "global health emergency" mean
  • "Let me be clear, this declaration is not a vote of no-confidence in China. Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems," said WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

  • In addition, the UN health agency added that it was not recommending "measures that unnecessarily interfere with international trade or travel"

  • Similarly, The Malay Mail reports that "Malaysia's import and export activities with China" will carry on. "Remember that whatever inanimate objects that are imported into the country do not transmit the disease. You will not get the virus by touching the goods," said Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming

  • Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir said there is yet to be a need to ban all China flights although Putrajaya is still reviewing such a policy

We will update the story as it continues to develop. Alternatively, read on for some answers to FAQs about the new coronavirus.

 

UPDATE: 30 January 2020, 12:10pm

  • While the number of infected patients and fatalities are still on the rise, "China's National Health Commission also says 170 people had been cured and discharged," according to a tweet made by BFM News
  • Visitors from Hubei, China are now banned from entering Malaysia, regardless of their health conditions
  • Visitors from other parts of China are still allowed entry but subjected to thermal scanning at immigration checkpoints
  • The government is in talks with China to evacuate the 78 Malaysians that are currently in Wuhan. If the plan goes through, Prime Minister Tun Mahathir said Malaysia will send aid in the form of food supplies, masks and gloves to Wuhan via a chartered flight
  • Malaysia's total number of patients with coronavirus is now up to eight as confirmed by the Health Ministry. The eight patient is also a China national

We will update the story as it continues to develop. Alternatively, read on for some answers to FAQs about the new coronavirus.


UPDATE: 29 January 2020, 3:01pm

  • Three more cases of the coronavirus in Malaysia have been reported, bringing the total number of positive cases up to seven. All seven are Chinese nationals
  • Be wary of fake news and be sure you're not one to spread them either. A man in Bangi was arrested yesterday over a Facebook post containing false information about the Wuhan coronavirus. Under Section 223 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, the man could potentially face a punishment of imprisonment of no more than a year and a fine of up to RM50,000 if convicted
  • The police forces are following through with investigations on those who commit the offence of spreading fake news. Currently, it involves four separate Facebook posts and one WhatsApp exchange

 

We will update the story as it continues to develop. Alternatively, read on for some answers to FAQs about the new coronavirus.


UPDATE: 28 January 2020, 8:30pm

The Wuhan coronavirus is relentlessly spreading on a global scale as numbers of the infected and fatalities continue to rise. To the point that the World Health Organization has admitted its error in assessing the risks of the deadly virus, going as far as to calling the risks "very high in China, high at the regional level and high at the global level." But still it's not yet an international health emergency. Here's what you need to know instead:

  • Malaysia has suspended all visa facilities for Chinese tourists from Wuhan, Hubei and neighbouring provinces in China due to the development of the coronavirus outbreak
  • All four of the patients with the virus in Malaysia are Chinese nationals who came via Johor from Singapore
  • The Wuhan virus can be passed from human to human

 

 

  • A large quantity of the novel coronavirus have been found in the environmental samples collected from Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, specifically in the wildlife trading section. Thereby suggesting the outbreak is highly related to the trading of wild animals
  • Despite the declaration made by Chinese authorities, the World Health Organization is still deliberating if the Wuhan coronavirus "is contagious during its incubation period, before symptoms appear"
  • However, the UN health agency estimates the incubation period for the virus to be between two and 10 days
  • Meanwhile, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd announced that they're doing everything they can to keep their airports hygienic

 

  • The Ministry of Health Malaysia has just released a list of 26 referral hospitals nationwide that can handle patients as well as suspected cases of the coronavirus

  • The viral message on a coronavirus in Sabah is fake, as confirmed by Sabah Health director Datuk Dr Christina Rundi

We will update the story as it continues to develop. Alternatively, read on for some answers to FAQs about the new coronavirus.

 

UPDATE: 25 January 2020, 2:00pm

It's official: The Wuhan virus is now in Malaysia. Three people from the group that was suspected and reported on January 24 have been confirmed to have contracted the virus due to close contact with the man in Singapore. BFM News reported that all three are PRC nationals, currently warded at the Sungai Buloh Hospital and are in stable condition.

Meanwhile, MalaysiaKini wrote that the Health Ministry is considering "the need to restrict the arrivals of Chinese nationals into the country to minimise the spread of the new coronavirus in Malaysia."

While two out of the three cases in Johor are aged 2 and 11 years old, respectively; most of the victims who passed away from the virus was over 60 and had pre-existing health issues, as summarised by The Star. The tricky part is that not all patients or victims actually developed a fever, which makes detecting possible cases even more difficult with just thermal scanners.

“A major concern is the range of severity of symptoms this virus is causing,” said Dr Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust.

“It is clear some people are being affected and are infectious while experiencing only very mild symptoms or possibly without experiencing symptoms at all,” he said.

Regardless, take care and practise good hygiene, everyone! We'll continue to update this story as it develops.

 


UPDATE: 24 January 2020, 2:35pm

Just in: According to The Star, eight people in Johor are suspected to have contracted the Wuhan virus. They're currently being isolated and monitored by health officers for symptoms related to it. Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye said the eight people entered Malaysia from Singapore and had contact with the 66-year-old man (a Chinese national from Wuhan) in Singapore who was confirmed to have the virus.

"They are not patients," he told the reporters. "So far, there are no symptoms but they will be monitored for a week."

*

2020 is not off to a great start. From the devastating Australian bushfires to the crazy floods in Jakarta to the trending topic of WWIII (due to the death of Iran's top military commander by American drones)... and now, #WuFlu.

A quick recap: Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, recently had a coronavirus outbreak which has since spread across China. Wuhan was closed off but due to rising numbers, Chinese authorities have since expanded travel restrictions to a few other cities near Wuhan. To date, China has confirmed 830 cases of infected patients and a death toll of 25 people.

wuhan virus

On January 23, it was reported that Malaysia has received four patients suspected to have contracted the Wuhan coronavirus (code name 2019-nCoV). By night, it was confirmed that the test results for the four patients have come back negative. On the same day, Singapore confirmed its first case of the Wuhan virus.

But it's always better to be prepared and well-equipped, and that includes knowledge of the coronavirus, precautions and its global status.

 

What is the coronavirus?

Remember SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) back in 2002 to 2003 when it caused more than 700 deaths in 37 countries? Yes, it's very similar. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses (CoV) are:

  • a family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases
  • zoonotic, which means patients get the virus from animals but the virus could have gone through a or a few genetic mutations that allow it to infect (and multiply) inside humans - and from there human to human
  • transmitted through the air

 

 

So is it from bats?

The original source for both SARS and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) is the bat, with the middle host being either a masked palm civet or camels. But more recent reports have suggested that the Wuhan coronavirus could have come from snakes as the intermediate host. Snakes hunt for bats, after all; and since the Wuhan Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, where the outbreak is believed to have started, did sell snakes, it's a high possibility.

 

This is a great, and costly, reminder that people should not be consuming wild animals.

 

Is Malaysia prepared if the Wuhan virus hits the country?

According to Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Director General of Health at the Ministry of Health Malaysia, a medical procedure for the virus for reference purposes has been issued and they'll be working with relevant agencies to strengthen screening activities at all checkpoints into the country. 26 government hospitals across the country have been identified to handle suspected 2019-nCov cases.

Deputy Health Minister Dr Lee Boon Chye also told New Straits Times that, "They include all the state hospitals and major specialist hospitals with an infectious disease unit. Every state will have at least one hospital that can provide isolation and treatment to patients."

 

 

"We would prefer them (patients) to be treated in public hospitals unless private hospitals have the facilities to provide isolation (for patients) and take protective measures for staff. I think most private hospitals are not equipped with that."

"There are a few requirements (to handle such cases). First, the patients need to be isolated. Second, the healthcare providers should have adequate protection with special protective gear to keep them from being infected.

"And, finally, the facilities should have the capacity to perform contact tracing and monitoring," he said.

 

 

What are the precautions people can take against the Wuhan virus?

Maintain good personal hygiene, which means washing hands frequently with soap and using hand sanitiser. Wear a mask or cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Cook meat thoroughly and limit contact with live animals. Yes, it's as basic as that, for now.

 

What are the symptoms?

Fever, difficulty breathing and coughing. In more severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

 

 

Is there a vaccine?

Not at this point, unfortunately. But three research teams are working on it and are aiming to have a shot developed and approved within a year, according to Channel News Asia.

 

Which countries have reported cases of the Wuhan virus?

China, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, France, Australia, Nepal and the US.

wuhan virus outbreak countries

Confirmed cases globally: 1,316

Reported deaths: 41

Total countries: 14

 

But it's still not considered a "global emergency"

An emergency committee set up by the WHO has decided that the Wuhan virus is not yet a global health emergency but will meet again to discuss within ten days. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO's director general, however, acknowledged that it is an emergency in China but not yet a global one.

 

More updates to come. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization has put together an FAQ thread here.

 


 

Head over here for more COVID-19/#WFH stories.


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