Passengers stop for thermal screening at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, Malaysia, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has confirmed three more cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), bringing the total number of such cases in Malaysia to seven.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that two out of the three new cases were from amongst the Patient-Under-Investigation (PUI) group.

Meanwhile, one case was from close contact with infected patients.

“All of the (seven) positive 2019-nCoV cases are Chinese nationals,” he said in a statement early Wednesday (Jan 29).

In the close contact case, Dr Noor Hisham said it involved the daughter-in-law of the man who was the first 2019-nCoV positive case in Singapore.

“The woman whose status was previously negative decided to stay in Malaysia to look after her two children who are being treated at the Hospital Sungai Buloh isolation ward after they tested positive,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

From Jan 10 to Jan 28, the cumulative number of PUI cases for 2019-nCoV stood at 78 people, whereby 39 are Malaysians, 36 Chinese, and one each from Jordan, Brazil and Thailand.

From this PUI group, three cases were confirmed to be positive 2019-nCoV, 74 negative and one case still awaiting lab results.

As reported previously, Dr Noor Hisham said 25 people who were close contacts with the positive 2019-nCoV cases in Singapore and Johor had been identified.

From this, the four of them who were confirmed to be infected with 2019-nCoV are being treated at the isolation ward of Hospital Sungai Buloh and are in stable condition.

Meanwhile, lab tests on the other 21 close contacts found them to be 2019-nCoV negative and the individuals were released from quarantine.

The 2019-nCoV, which originated from Wuhan, China has so far claimed 107 lives there and infected over 4,000 people in more than 15 countries. – ANN

Wuhan virus death toll jumps to 131

THE number of confirmed deaths from China’s viral outbreak has risen to 131, with authorities in central Hubei province today reporting 25 new fatalities and 840 new cases.

The latest figures from hard-hit Hubei, the epicentre of the contagion, put the nationwide total of confirmed infections at nearly 6,000.

The new figures came as Japan airlifted about 200 of its nationals out of the city, and the US evacuated about 240 Americans by air.

More than 50 million people have been locked down in and around Wuhan, the central industrial city where the outbreak first began, in a bid by authorities to stop an infection that has since spread to other cities in China and to other countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called the virus a “demon” during talks yesterday with the head of the World Health Organisation in Beijing and pledged a “timely” release of updates about the crisis. – AFP