22 February 2020 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) would like to inform that Case 22, the 83-year-old American lady, is showing good improvement and signs of recovery, however, she is still being monitored and managed in hospital for a slight cough.
As stated earlier in the Press Statement by the Director General of Health Malaysia dated 15 February 2020, Case 22 was detected with symptoms through the thermal scanner screening upon arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and was then referred to Sungai Buloh Hospital.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia based on clinical examination and chest X-ray findings. She was admitted to the isolation ward in Sungai Buloh Hospital. Oropharyngeal and nasopharyngeal clinical samples were taken for investigations. Both samples were tested twice at the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) and found to be positive for COVID-19 infection on 15 February 2020 for both repeated tests.
She was started on antiviral treatment (Lopinavir and Ritonavir) and supplementary oxygen was given for her symptoms. She had shown improvement after 72 hours of treatment initiation. Therefore, the repeated COVID-19 tests were done, two tests, 24 hours apart. Both the repeated tests were found to be negative for COVID-19.
These repeated tests were conducted to ensure that the patient has fully recovered, with negative from COVID-19.
Based on currently available information on COVID-19, about 80% of COVID- 19 patients were reported to have mild symptoms, and there is no specific treatment for this disease. Most patients only require symptomatic treatment (for their fever, cough and runny nose) and isolation of patients is required to prevent infection to other individuals. This is because in most confirmed cases, the body’s immune system will begin to develop antibodies towards the virus.
Unfortunately, for individuals who are immunocompromised or with lower immunity, for example, older adults, the risk of COVID-19 infection causing severe complications is higher, and this may require antivirals treatment.
Repeated laboratory confirmatory tests for COVID-19 will be done to all confirmed COVID-19 case once patients show improvement and signs of recovery from their symptoms.
This is necessary to ensure that the cases have fully recovered and free from the COVID-19 virus. Only then will the patients be allowed home with no risk of infecting other individuals.
DATUK DR NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH
MINISTRY OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
22 FEBRUARY 2020