Patient's death at Penang hospital not due to Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry today denied claims that a patient’s death at a hospital in Penang recently was due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, in a statement, commented on a Feb 13 article by the China Press, which speculated that the patient’s death could be due to Covid-19.

Dr Noor Hisham said the article had since triggered rumours that the patient’s death was linked to the outbreak.

In clarifying, he said the patient had sought treatment at a Penang hospital on Feb 10 for a cough as well as swelling on both feet.

“The patient neither has a history of travel to China nor had close contact with any other patient who tested positive for Covid-19.

“In addition, the patient also had other chronic health issues and was undergoing follow-up treatment,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the patient was warded and subsequently placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) after the condition worsened.

He said the patient died on Feb 12 due to “septic shock with multiorgan failure complicated with cardiogenic shock”.

Dr Noor Hisham said clinical samples were subsequently taken from the patient for Covid-19 testing. This, he said, was done as the patient was in the ICU and had pneumonia.

The patient’s clinical samples were then sent to the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) for Covid-19 testing.

“On Feb 13, the lab results confirmed that the patient tested negative for Covid-19,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry will continue to monitor incidences of Covid-19, and advised the public to seek verified information from the ministry’s website or via its hotline at 03 88810200 / 03 88810600 / 03 88810700.