Nunukan, N Kalimantan (ANTARA) - Some 10 Indonesian migrant workers in the Malaysian state of Sabah tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and are presently receiving treatment at two local hospitals, an Indonesian diplomat in Tawau stated.

Five of them are hospitalized at the Lahad Datu Hospital, while five others are being treated at the Tawau Hospital, Indonesian Consul in Tawau Sulistijo Djati Ismoyo told ANTARA after being contacted from Nunukan, North Kalimantan, on Wednesday.

Domestic workers are among the COVID-19 patients. These Indonesian migrant workers might have contracted the infection from their colleagues, who had returned from an Islamic congregation held at the Seri Petaling Mosque, Malaysia, from February 27 to March 1, he revealed.

Speaking in connection with their latest health condition, Ismoyo quoted the hospital authorities as saying that their condition was improving owing to the Malaysian government's guarantee of providing their optimal treatment.

As of March 23, 2020, some 13 Indonesian nationals residing in Malaysia had contracted COVID-19, according to the coordinator of Information and Socio-Cultural Affairs at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Agung Cahaya Sumirat.

The Malaysian Health Ministry confirmed that 12 patients had got infected after participating in the Islamic congregation, Sumirat had earlier remarked.

The recent case of an Indonesian being diagnosed with COVID-19 is a resident of Kuching, the capital of the Malaysian State of Sarawak, Sumirat stated while quoting information from the Malaysian Health Ministry.

The patient from Kuching is a lecturer at the Faculty of Applied and Creative Arts in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), according to the Indonesian Consulate General (KJRI) in the city.

As of Tuesday, there were 686 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Indonesia, of which 424 were in Jakarta. The death toll from this virus had reached 55, and with 31 fatalities from Jakarta.

COVID-19, which initially struck the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December, 2019, has killed at least 16,591 people and infected no less than 384,432 people in 195 countries and territories worldwide, according to media reports.

Taking into account the rising death toll and the spread of the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic.
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Translator: Rusman, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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