Asia - Pacific, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Malaysia: 80 health workers test positive for COVID-19

Country’s monarchs in self-quarantine after 7 royal palace staff test positive for deadly coronavirus pandemic

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 26.03.2020
Malaysia: 80 health workers test positive for COVID-19


At least 80 healthcare workers in Malaysia have been infected by coronavirus, an official said Thursday.

Health Director-General Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said “none of the infected medical personnel were front-liners battling the disease at any of its facilities,” daily Star reported.

"We urge all medical personnel and front-liners to take necessary precautionary measures to avoid [infection] as told, especially to ensure that they maintain their hygiene, observe social distancing and wear personnel protective gear set by the ministry," the report cited Abdullah as saying.

Meanwhile, the death toll from coronavirus has risen to 20, with nearly 1,800 cases reported in the country.

In order to curb the spread of the virus, authorities have issued stay-at-home orders to the public.

The country’s king and queen are under quarantine after seven members of the royal palace tested positive for COVID-19.

King, queen test negative, observe 14-day quarantine

The infected staff has been hospitalized at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, comptroller of the Royal Household Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said.

Fadil said that the country’s monarchs also underwent tests but their results returned negative.

"Nevertheless, their Majesties [king and queen] are now observing a 14-day self-quarantine, starting yesterday,” he added.

After first appearing in Wuhan, China last December, the novel coronavirus has spread to at least 175 countries and territories. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has surpassed 472,000 while the death toll is over 21,300 and almost 114,800 have recovered, according to data compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Italy, China, Iran, and Spain continue to be the most affected countries.

Despite the rising number of cases, most who contract the virus suffer only mild symptoms before making a recovery.

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