Virus scare over ‘missing’ Chinese girl with fever

A doctor had advised that a 5-year-old child be sent for observation but later found the family ‘missing’ at the hospital. (Reuters pic)

KUALA TERENGGANU: A five-year-old girl, allegedly sneaked out of Kemaman Hospital by her Chinese national parents, only had common fever and a sore throat and not the novel coronavirus, officials said today

Terengganu director of health Dr Azimi Yunus said doctors at Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah  had found that the girl did not meet the criteria for investigation and provided regular treatment to the child.

A miscommunication between her parents and the doctor led to her being taken home, according to state executive councillor Hanafiah Mat.

He said the child’s parents were both Chinese nationals working on the East Coast Rail Link project in Kemaman and had been in Terengganu since the beginning of last month.

“On Jan 21, the girl started to have a fever and showed certain symptoms which led to suspicions of her having coronavirus. When she was taken to Kemaman Hospital, the doctor informed her parents that she needed to be sent to Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah for further observation.

“But the parents did not understand what the doctor was saying (due to a language barrier) and took their child back to the ECRL project site instead,” he said. He advised people in Kemaman not to panic over the situation.

Terengganu police had earlier confirmed receiving a report about the girl being taken out of Kemaman Hospital by her parents.

A doctor who said he had examined the child had earlier filed the report when he found the family missing after having advised that the child be quarantined and observed at Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah.