KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) – A Malaysian citizen who had not visited China has contracted the new coronavirus after travelling to Singapore, health authorities reported Tuesday.
The 41-year-old man had visited neighbouring Singapore for a week from January 16 during which he attended meetings that also involved delegates from China, Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said.
“The Malaysian victim has not been to China. He met Chinese delegates from Wuhan in Singapore,” Noor Hisham Abdullah, director-general of health, Ministry of Health, said.
The man is the country’s first citizen to be infected with the virus. Malaysia’s nine other confirmed cases are all Chinese nationals who came from Wuhan.
At a press conference earlier, Malaysia’s health minister Dzulkefly said the country was contacting Singapore authorities to find out the possible source of the infection by the Malaysian man.
Dzulkefly said the individual is in a stable condition in hospital, and that his family members are being monitored.
Meanwhile, two out of the 107 people – Malaysians and Chinese nationals married to Malaysians – who arrived on a special flight from Wuhan early Tuesday were found to be feverish and were being treated in a hospital.
Meanwhile Singapore on Tuesday announced its first local transmissions of the deadly coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health said it had found six additional cases, four of them involving human-to-human transmission in Singapore, bringing the total infections to 24 in the city-state.
Two of the local transmission cases involved women working at a health products shop primarily serving Chinese tourists.
A third was one of the women’s Indonesian maid.
Another was a female tour guide who had brought groups to the health shop.