Health Ministry refutes news report on death due to coronavirus

Modified 13 Feb 2020, 1:22 pm

CORONAVIRUS | The Health Ministry today refuted a news report that a person had died from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in a hospital in Penang yesterday.

In a statement issued this evening, the ministry said the deceased had tested negative for the virus.

It was responding to a China Press report which linked the death of the individual to Covid-19.

"The deceased received treatment in a hospital in Penang due to cough and swollen legs on Feb 10. The individual has no travel history to China nor close contact with other patients that tested positive for Covid-19.

"The deceased suffered from other chronic health issues and was seeking follow-up treatment.

"The individual was warded in the Incentive Care Unit (ICU) after health condition deteriorated. On Feb 12, the person died from septic shock with multiorgan failure complicated with cardiogenic shock.

"The clinical specimens were collected for the Covid-19 test as the person was sent to the ICU with the clinical finding of pneumonia," the statement read.

According to the report, the deceased was admitted to the hospital due to flu days ago and passed away yesterday. 

The China Press quoted the deceased's mother as saying her 37-year-old canteen worker, who suffered asthma and heart problems, died from a heart attack.

The Chinese daily speculated that this would be the first death due to the Covid-19 in Penang as 19 tested positive for the virus as of yesterday.

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