On Friday, parents of a two-year-old removed the child from quarantine at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor. The toddler is suspected to have been infected with the Novel Coronavirus.
They were attempting to return to Wuhan, the outbreak's epicentre.
According to a report in Malaysiakini, the parents took their child, whose gender has not yet been specified by the authorities, to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor at about 10pm Friday, 24 January.
A doctor at HSA checked the toddler and confirmed that the toddler had viral fever and was suspected to be a victim of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). However, when the doctor asked the parents to admit their child to be quarantined for further investigation, the parents refused.
They allegedly told the doctors that they had a flight to China scheduled for last night, 25 January. The parents then left the hospital with their sick toddler, reported Malaysiakini.
New Straits Times reported that the Chinese couple from Wuhan were desperately attempting to book a flight to their hometown last night at the Senai International Airport in Johor.
All three of them have now been detained after authorities at the airport spotted them boarding a flight to Guangzhou, China last night
Johor police chief Kamarudin Md Din said that the toddler and the parents have since been handed over to the state health authority for further action and treatment.
"Yes, police have detained them at the Senai Airport about 9.20pm last night. They have bought tickets to Guangzhou to return to China. We have handed them over to the hospital," he was quoted as saying
They are now at the isolation ward of the HSA
The quick action was prompted by the doctor at the HSA who had lodged a police report against the parents after they refused the directive for their toddler to be quarantined.
So far, Malaysia has recorded four positive cases of the Wuhan virus in the country. All four infected victims are tourists from Wuhan:
As of this writing, the virus has killed 56 in China and has infected a total of 2,019 people globally. Of the infected, 49 have now recovered.
Read more about the outbreak on SAYS:
And in case, you're wondering if wearing a face mask can help keep you safe and prevent the spread of the outbreak, yes, it does:
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