Around 200 crew members on a Malaysian navy ship have been placed under quarantine following the death of a crew member with suspected SARS symptoms two days ago, the health ministry said yesterday.
Ten people have been hospitalised and the rest quarantined on board the Royal Malaysian Navy ship KD Lekiu which is docked in Lumut in northern Perak state, said deputy director-general of health Ismail Merican.
"Some 200 people are under quarantine after one crew died of suspected SARS. We are still investigating," he told AFP.
The New Sunday Times quoted sources as saying that the victim was the second member of the ship's crew to die in the last three days.
Another died earlier of dengue fever.
Both had high temperatures but only the second victim showed signs of pneumonia, the newspaper said.
Ismail said 19 Malaysian Airlines crew who returned from Taipei on Friday have also been placed under home quarantine.
They had stayed in the same hotel in Taipei as Chesley Richards, a specialist from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who was feared to have contracted SARS, he said.
Ismail said the ministry has removed three people earlier diagnosed as probable SARS cases from the list, leaving only five probable cases in Malaysia with two deaths.
Investigations and health reports showed a housewife, a lorry driver and a tile worker working in Singapore did not have SARS, he added.