Woman with Covid-19 symptoms after quarantine discharge one-off case, Dr Noor Hisham says

Jerry Choong
·2-min read
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham speaking during the Covid-19 press conference at the Ministry of Health October 19, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham speaking during the Covid-19 press conference at the Ministry of Health October 19, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 31 — The recent case of a woman who was found to be positive with Covid-19 after being discharged from quarantine is unusual as she did not report to the authorities when she began displaying symptoms, said Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the woman, who returned from Labuan on October 10 and was quarantined in Sarawak, initially tested negative on the first day in quarantine and on the 10th day when the repeat test was done.

“As such she was released from quarantine on the 14th day. When she began displaying symptoms on the 18th day after returning from Labuan and went to a clinic, the woman was tested again and found to be positive,” Dr Noor Hisham said during his press conference.

When the ministry reinvestigated the woman, who would become the 30,811th case, it was determined that she had begun to experience mild symptoms as early as the 11th day, shortly after being released from quarantine.

“However, she did not inform the authorities that she was experiencing mild symptoms, and hence was discharged on the 14th day.

“If we look at the example of travellers and permanent residents coming back from abroad, 1,181 tested positive for Covid-19. 75 per cent of them tested so on the first day of quarantine, while the remaining 25 per cent were tested on the 13th day,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said since the woman’s last test was on the 10th day and did not report her symptoms on the 11th day onwards, she was only discovered once the clinic alerted the ministry, tested and sent for treatment.

When asked about the frequency of cases with an incubation period longer than 14 days, the director-general said such instances have been reported of before, but has not occurred in Malaysia as yet.

“The bulk of the cases begin to experience symptoms during the 7th or 8th day in quarantine, while some experience symptoms on the 12th or 13th day.

“Cases in which the symptoms emerge within 21 days are quite rare and very remote, no more than one or two cases reported,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

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