KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said out of the 550 close contacts and symptomatic cases tested at 18 public laboratories in the country, only 18 have been confirmed positive of Covid-19 so far.
He said that so far all episodes of cluster infection had been handled well by the ministry and the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), which is chaired by the deputy prime minister.
“This is our response to WHO,” he said today when asked to comment on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) statement on Covid-19.
WHO’s statement that Covid-19 might spread further should be viewed in the appropriate context because Malaysia had not yet reached that stage, he said in his daily briefing on Covid-19 here.
WHO has advised the Malaysian government to prepare itself for the possibility of a wider transmission of Covid-19, which has infected tens of thousands and has killed more than a thousand in China.
Its regional director for the Western Pacific, Dr Takeshi Kasai, said in a statement today that the latest information shows that the virus may be more transmissible than early data had suggested but noted that this does not mean it will start spreading easily in Malaysia or elsewhere.
Yesterday, WHO announced that Covid-19 is the official name for the 2019 novel coronavirus.