American woman from the cruise ship in Cambodia last week, the results of two tests showed the presence of coronavirus after a flight to Malaysia, officials said in the country on Sunday.
Cambodia was allowed to moor a ship “Westerdam” after five other countries rejected it because of concerns about the coronavirus. Officials said that more than 140 other passengers from Westerdam flew from Cambodia to the airport in Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. All, except for the American woman and her husband were allowed to go to destinations, including airports in the United States, the Netherlands and Australia.
The woman, who is 83, and her husband, who is 85 years of age and a U.S. citizen, were hospitalized and isolated. The husband was also twice checked for a virus and results were negative both times. But he has pneumonia, which is often a sign of a virus that appears before it can be identified with testing.
Dr. Eyal Leshem, Director of the Center for travel medicine and tropical diseases at Sheba Medical center in Israel, called the disclosures “extremely important” and said that the flights taken by passengers from Kuala Lumpur, and significantly increased the risk of a global pandemic. “We can get three or four countries with sustained transmission of the virus,” he said.
“Maybe it’s harder to convince yourself and others that this outbreak was localized only in China,” said Dr. Leshem.