A Malaysian who recently returned from Italy transmitted COVID-19 to 37 people in the country and caused five deaths
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed the information yesterday, 5 March, during a press conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia. There are currently 3,662 COVID-19 cases with 61 deaths in Malaysia.
He said the Ministry of Health conducted an investigation and found that Case 1,580 had a history of travel to Italy but did not disclose the information with authorities, reported New Straits Times.
Thus, the individual became an index patient who went on to infect over three dozen people
An index patient refers to the first identified case in a group of related cases of a particular communicable disease.
"So far, from that cluster, 37 people tested positive for COVID-19, with five fatalities, namely Case 1,031; Case 1,032; Case 1,006; Case 2,850; and Case 2,210," Dr Noor Hisham said on Sunday.
"One case is currently being treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in need of ventilator support.
"This cluster has spread to the third generation in Kuching, Sarawak," he said.
The Health director-general said Malaysia remains vulnerable to imported COVID-19 cases as there are 180 countries worldwide fighting the pandemic at the moment
In light of that, as well as the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO), he added that every returning Malaysian from abroad will be screened upon their arrival.
"If they have symptoms, they will be sent to the hospitals, while the rest will be quarantined for 14 days at quarantine centres," Dr Noor Hisham said.
He advised those who returned to Malaysia to be forthright about their travel history with health authorities.
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