A Malaysian woman who returned from Japan has tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Health Ministry said Thursday.

Noor Hisham Abdullah, the ministry's director general of health, said the 53-year-old woman arrived home last Sunday and the next day and sought treatment for fever at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur.

She tested for the pneumonia-causing virus and was confirmed positive on Thursday, raising the number of cases in Malaysia to 23.


The other 22 COVID-19 patients have recovered and have been discharged, including an 83-year old woman from the United States who was a passenger of the Westerdam cruise ship that grabbed headlines after five ports in Asia refused to allow it to dock for fear of the coronavirus outbreak.

It eventually was accepted to dock in Cambodia and 145 passengers flew through Malaysia in transit to their respective destinations.

The ministry urged Malaysians to postpone their traveling plans to not only China, the epicenter of the outbreak, but also to Japan, South Korea, Italy and Iran due to the spike in the number of infections in those countries.

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