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Malaysian citizen infected with novel coronavirus after traveling from Singapore

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    Agence France-Presse

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   /   Tue, February 4, 2020   /   06:56 pm
Malaysian citizen infected with novel coronavirus after traveling from Singapore A passenger checks herself with a digital infrared forehead thermometer measurement device at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang on Feb. 4. (AFP/Mohd RASFAN)

A Malaysian citizen who had not visited China has contracted the new coronavirus after traveling to Singapore, health authorities reported Tuesday.

The 41-year-old man had visited neighboring Singapore for a week from January 16 during which he attended meetings that also involved delegates from China, Malaysian Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said.

"The Malaysian victim has not been to China. He met Chinese delegates from Wuhan in Singapore," Noor Hisham Abdullah, director-general of health, Ministry of Health, told AFP.

The man is the country's first citizen to be infected with the virus. Malaysia's nine other confirmed cases are all Chinese nationals who came from Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the virus was first detected.

It has so far infected more than 20,000 people, killing at least 425 in China, and spread to more than two dozen countries.

At a press conference earlier, Malaysia's health minister Dzulkefly said the country was contacting Singapore authorities to find out the possible source of the infection by the Malaysian man.

Read also: Indonesian maid in Singapore tests positive for coronavirus

Dzulkefly said the individual is in a stable condition in hospital, and that his family members are being monitored.

Malaysia has imposed an entry ban for Chinese nationals from Wuhan in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, two out of the 107 people -- Malaysians and Chinese nationals married to Malaysians -- who arrived on a special flight from Wuhan early Tuesday were found to be feverish and were being treated in a hospital. 

Malaysia had sent the special flight to evacuate its citizens and their families trapped in the Chinese city which has been under quarantine by the authorities.

The remaining 105 people on the flight are being held in a facility for 14 days, the incubation period for the virus.