A 40-year-old man from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the novel coronavirus epidemic, who was infected has now recovered
He was discharged from Permai Hospital in Johor Bahru at 7.15pm Saturday, 8 February.
The decision to discharge the patient was made after the third test result conducted on him came back negative. All of his three tests for the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) returned negative.
The man from Wuhan was identified as the fourth positive case in Malaysia last month.
The recovery, however, comes after a scare as the patient's condition had become critical with him requiring oxygen assistance
"Please note that the 4th case of the novel coronavirus 2019 was hospitalised on 24 January 2020 with symptoms of high fever and pneumonia. The patient's condition worsened on the second day at the Permai Hospital isolation ward in Johor Bahru, requiring oxygen assistance," Health director general (D-G) Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement issued on his official Facebook page last night, 8 February.
"Chest X-ray examination on day four showed signs of increased infection," he added.
The Chinese national was fully cured of the coronavirus after he was treated with an antiviral drug that has sparked panic-buying in China
The antiviral drug is called Kaletra.
According to Dr Hisham, the hospital began treatment with off-label use of Kaletra on 28 January.
"After 8 days of treatment, the patient's condition improved and was completely healed," he said while congratulating the medical team led by Dr Masliza Zaid, Infectious Disease Specialist.
"Alhamdullilah, your service and devotion are greatly appreciated. Thank You."
Kaletra is a drug used to treat people with HIV, the virus that causes Aids. However, the antiviral drug is being trialled in patients in Malaysia and China as a possible therapy against the coronavirus.
According to a report in The Guardian, Kaletra, which is a combination of two anti-HIV drugs, lopinavir and ritonavir, has been used on patients in a trial in China since 18 January.
"The aim is to test it in about 200 patients, whose condition will be carefully monitored. Their outcomes will be compared with those of similar people with the same degree of illness who have not been given the drug," the report said, adding that so far, there are no proven treatments for the coronavirus.
However, following the news about the use of Kaletra as a possible treatment for the coronavirus, people in China have turned towards the black market to get their hands on the drug to hoard it.
Meanwhile, Dr Hisham said that the treatment for the man was the same method used on the four-year-old girl who fully recovered and was discharged from Sultanah Maliha Hospital in Kedah on 4 February
A 34-year-old doctor in China who had raised the alarm about the novel coronavirus back in December 2019 has died of the infection. He worked as an ophthalmologist at the Wuhan Central Hospital: