'Infected' oranges, sick student in Ipoh - fake news of Wuhan virus spreads

Modified 25 Jan 2020, 12:44 pm

Fake news about the discovery of the new coronavirus in Malaysia is starting to spread on social media, amid heightened public concern over the disease.

According to the Health Ministry, one fake message making the rounds is that a prisoner had died a sudden death after eating a mandarin orange and that such oranges from China should be avoided as they have been "infected" by the Wuhan virus.

"Don't spread or believe this news," the ministry said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah denied another viral message that a Malaysian student studying in Wuhan had returned and was now warded at the Ipoh Hospital after testing positive for the virus.

"Institute for Medical Research lab test results have turned up negative for (novel coronavirus) 2019-nCoV [...] there is no case of 2019-nCoV in Ipoh thus far," Noor Hisham posted on Facebook.

                        Read More: New coronavirus outbreak: Here’s what we know so far

Earlier today, the Health Ministry confirmed that three Chinese nationals had tested positive for the Wuhan virus in Johor.

Yesterday, there were reports of four suspected cases, but all four individuals later tested negative.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad later said there was no immediate plan to block China visitor arrivals.

However, Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad has stated it was working closely with the Health Ministry to screen passengers at international airports across the country.

Related reports:

PM: No plan to review visa exemption for Chinese tourists

Health Ministry mulls over possibility of restricting Chinese arrivals

Minister to state health excos: 'Refrain from commenting on new coronavirus'

Gov't activates rapid response teams with detection of new coronavirus

China virus death toll rises to 41, more than 1,300 infected worldwide

Australia declares first confirmed case of coronavirus

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