Malaysiakini
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Toddler with suspected coronavirus taken out of Johor hospital

Hariz Mohd

Published
Modified 25 Jan 2020, 3:31 pm

CORONAVIRUS | A child suspected of being infected with the coronavirus is believed to be at large after the toddler's parents ignored an order by a Johor hospital doctor to admit the child to an isolation ward on Friday, say sources.

The late evening incident happened when the two-year-old toddler, whose gender was not specified, was taken by the parents to the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor Bahru at about 10pm with symptoms of an influenza-like illness.

A source said the parents and the toddler are China nationals and the child was referred to the government hospital by a private health facility.

"A doctor at HSA checked the toddler and confirmed that the toddler had a viral fever suspected to be coronavirus," said the source.

However, when the doctor and a specialist told the parents that their child needed to be sent to another hospital to be quarantined for further investigation, the parents refused.

They allegedly told the doctors that they had a flight to China scheduled for 10am today and insisted the child only be prescribed with fever and cough medication.

Sources said the parents then left the hospital with their sick toddler after which the hospital doctor lodged a police report.

When contacted, Johor police chief Kamarudin Mohd Din confirmed that police had received the doctor's report.

"Police have received the report, and the matter is now under investigation by the Johor state health officials," he said in a text message.

Malaysiakini has reached out to health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah for confirmation and comments including on whether this case was connected to the three China nationals from Wuhan who have been tested positive for the new coronavirus and are currently in an isolation ward.

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