Malaysia’s king and queen go into coronavirus quarantine after seven palace staff members become infected
- Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and wife Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah will be isolating for 14 days over coronavirus
- It comes after seven members of their staff tested positive for the infection
- Palace said pair have tested negative, but will isolate themselves out of caution
- Malaysia has largest number of cases in Southeast Asia and is in full lockdown
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Malaysia’s king and queen are under quarantine after seven palace staff members tested positive for coronavirus.
King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and his wife Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah have both tested negative for the infection, but will isolate for 14 days out of an abundance of caution the palace said.
Meanwhile the infected staff have been taken to hospital as officials try to work out the source of the infection. The palace is also being disinfected.
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and wife Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah will isolate themselves for 14 days after at outbreak of coronavirus at Malaysia’s royal palace
Seven palace staff have been confirmed to have coronavirus and have been taken to hospital, while an investigation is underway into the source of the infection
The palace say the king and queen have tested negative but will isolate out of caution, while the palace is also disinfected (file image, hygiene workers in Malaysia)
Malaysia has more than 2,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 235 reported on Thursday, making it the hardest-hit country in Southeast Asia.
Some 21 people have died from the disease.
The majority of the country’s infections have been linked back to an Islamic conference that happened at the Sri Petaling mosque back in February.
The event was attended by around 20,000 people, three quarters of whom were from Malaysia.
Other attendees were from Bangladesh, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, and went on to spread the infection in their own home countries.
Last week Malaysia entered full lockdown to try to slow the spread of the virus, with people banned from leaving homes except for urgent needs.
Malaysia has the highest number of coronavirus cases of any Southeast Asian country, with most linked to an Islamic gathering last month with 20,000 attendees (file image)
Schools were shut, all but essential businesses closed, while foreign visitors were banned from coming into the country and Malaysian barred from leaving.
Police were initially tasked with keeping the lockdown in place, but soldiers were brought in after people began flouting the rules.
The measures were expected to last until the end of March, but were extended Wednesday until mid-April.
More than a third of the world’s population – or 3billion people – are now thought to be under some kind of lockdown to help slow the spread of the virus.
India enacted the most widespread shutdown this week when it ordered all of its 1.3billion people to remain at home and only venture outside for emergencies.
Malaysia entered full coronavirus lockdown last week with all-but essential shops closed and people told to stay at home unless they need to venture out for emergencies
Police were initially deployed to deal with the outbreak but the military was brought in to help after people began flouting the rules. The lockdown is due to last until mid-April
China also locked down some 760million people as the virus spread, but is now starting to ease restrictions as new infections subside.
Globally, infections have topped 450,000 while deaths have topped 20,000 – with the World Health Organisation warning that we have not yet reached the peak.
Coronavirus first emerged in China towards the end of last year, before sweeping East to West across the globe.
Europe and the US are now the new epicentres of the virus, with more combined infections than anywhere else including China.
Italy alone, the hardest-hit western nation, has recorded more than 7,500 deaths – more than the whole of China.