China tourist tests negative for Wuhan coronavirus, says health ministry

Four tourists from China have been referred to hospital after arriving at the Kota Kinabalu hospital. (AP pic)

PETALING JAYA: The director-general of the health ministry Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this evening that tests on the China tourist warded earlier this evening in Sabah for possible symptoms of the coronavirus came back negative.

He said he was found to be infected with Influenza-A.

Earlier, it was reported that the health ministry was awaiting test results on the Chinese tourist to establish whether he had been infected with the coronavirus.

The man, believed to be a Chinese tourist, was taken from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here after showing symptoms of the virus.

In a previous statement, Noor said the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) had received four reports of people suspected of being infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

“Once detected, they were sent to isolation wards to enable treatment and for further investigations to be carried out.”

However, the tests have so far found no sign of the Wuhan virus.

Earlier today, Sabah Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon said the KKIA had been placed on high alert to scan all international flights passengers entering the state.

Wisma Putra has also advised Malaysians to defer all non-essential travel to China’s Wuhan and other areas that could be affected by the coronavirus.

International media reports said that so far, 547 cases of coronavirus had been detected with 17 deaths reported in China.

Singapore today confirmed its first case of the virus, involving a 66-year-old man from Wuhan, who arrived in the republic with his family on Jan 20.

CNA reported that he had a sore throat while on the flight but no fever. The man developed a fever the next day and began coughing before seeking treatment.

The news portal said contact tracing has been initiated to identify 30 people on the man’s flight, who were seated two rows in front and two rows behind him.

CNA said cases had also been reported in Thailand and Vietnam.

Wuhan has already warned people to avoid entering or leaving the city.