Malaysia on Tue (17 Mar) recorded its two first fatalities over the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Health Minister Adham Baba told a press conference in the administrative capital of Putrajaya that the first death reported was a 60-year-old man with a history of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
The man, a pastor from Sarawak, began showing symptoms such as coughing and breathing difficulties on 7 Mar before seeking treatment at the Sarawak General Hospital on 14 Mar following being tested positive for COVID-19, according to Dr Adham.
“His condition deteriorated and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was pronounced dead today,” said Dr Adham.
The second death, said Dr Adham, was a 34-year-old man who had attended a mass religious gathering at the Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur.
The programme ran from 27 Feb to 1 Mar.
“The deceased began experiencing fever on 5 March and sought treatment at Hospital Permai, Johor on 12 March,” he said, adding that the man’s condition deteriorated and was subsequently admitted to the ICU before he was pronounced dead today.
Two Singapore citizens who had been in Malaysia from 29 Feb to 4 Mar also attended the same gathering and were tested positive for COVID-19.
The case subjects, a 29-year-old male and a 48-year-old male, were confirmed by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) on 12 Mar to have been infected with the virus. Both men were subsequently warded in an isolation room at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.
MOH noted that the Malaysian authorities had subsequently reported several confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the gathering.