Malaysia confirms 3 new cases of 2019-nCov infection, now at 7

Joseph Sipalan and Liz Lee, Reuters

Posted at Jan 29 2020 08:01 PM

A sign announces that masks are sold out at a pharmacy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 29, 2020. Lim Huey Teng, Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's Health Ministry said on Wednesday three more people had been infected with the new coronavirus, taking the total to seven, all of whom are Chinese citizens.

The new cases involve a 4-year-old girl, a 52-year-old man and the mother of two children confirmed infected earlier, the ministry said in a statement.

Authorities said the mother had initially tested negative and had stayed in Malaysia to take care of her children - grandsons of a 66-year-old man who tested positive in Singapore for the coronavirus last week.

Malaysia this week imposed a temporary ban on Chinese nationals arriving from Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, and surrounding Hubei province. The country said on Wednesday it was in talks with China to evacuate its 78 citizens from Wuhan.

Separately, Malaysia's communications regulator said it has detained a person accused of spreading fake news on the coronavirus.

The person was arrested over a Facebook post that contained false information on the outbreak, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission said. 

As of Wednesday, the 2019 novel coronavirus, which originated from Wuhan, China, has killed at least 132 people and infected some 6,000. 

Confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in several countries, including parts of Asia, Europe and North America.