PUTRAJAYA: Four people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Malaysia were discharged on Tuesday (Feb 18), just as those evacuated from Wuhan completed the quarantine process and were allowed to return home.
This brings the total number of recovered cases to 13, out of 22 confirmed cases in the country.
Posting on his Facebook page, Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said a man and his wife have been discharged from Permai Hospital in Johor Bahru.
The man was admitted on Jan 27 and his condition worsened three days later due to severe oxygen deficiency.
He was treated with antiviral drugs and his condition improved. He was tested negative twice for COVID-19 and discharged on Tuesday.
His wife was also diagnosed with the coronavirus. She was tested negative for the virus on Feb 5 but had wished to stay on in hospital until her husband had recovered.
Earlier in the day, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said in a press conference that a 45-year-old man and his nine-year-old son were discharged on Tuesday. They had been evacuated from Wuhan but were diagnosed with the coronavirus after they arrived in Malaysia.
The minister also said that all 107 Malaysians and their non-Malaysian family members who were evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus outbreak epicentre on Feb 4, have tested negative in repeated tests.
They were evacuated from Wuhan on a special AirAsia flight, which carried 500,000 pairs of rubber gloves as a contribution to the Chinese government.
All passengers underwent health screening at the Air Disaster Unit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, before they were ferried to the Higher Education Leadership Academy at Bandar Enstek, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, where they were quarantined for 14 days.
While all returnees were allowed to return home, Dr Dzulkefly said one of them is currently seeking treatment at a hospital for another health issue.
With no new cases reported on Tuesday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stands at 22.
Separately, Dr Dzulkefly said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of World Health Organization (WHO), has suggested to Malaysia in a teleconference on Tuesday to test severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) patients for COVID-19.
“The Ministry of Health informed WHO that Malaysia has already extended respiratory tract infections surveillance to include the COVID-19 testing,” he said.
On the two Malaysians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner who were tested positive for COVID-19, the minister said they would be treated in Japan in line with the protocols.
A total of four Malaysians were on the ship, he added.
Dr Noor Hisham, the director-general, had said earlier that the other two Malaysians were waiting for their test results.
With more than 450 infected cases, the Diamond Princess has the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases outside China.