The deadly coronavirus will not cause victims to act like zombies, Malaysia's government said on social media, as officials act to correct the spread of misinformation surrounding the outbreak.
As medical authorities seek to contain the virus, some social media users in Malaysia made a connection between the disease and the walking dead.
Malaysia's health ministry dismissed the rumour in a tweet, however, saying: "The claim that individuals infected with this virus will behave like zombies is not true... Patients can recover."
A number of posts in Malaysia on social media have wrongly claimed the number of deaths or infected people in the country.
Police have arrested six people for spreading misinformation about the virus, a Malaysian Communications and Multimedia statement said.
In the latest arrest, last Thursday, a 28-year-old woman was investigated for "improper use of network facilities".
If convicted, she can be fined up to 50,000 ringgit or be jailed for a year, or both.
The virus has killed more than 300 people in China and infected thousands. Eight people in Malaysia have been found with the virus - all Chinese nationals.
On Saturday, a biotech executive said no manufacturer will have a coronavirus vaccine ready for use before the middle of 2020, despite an intensive global effort.
"The challenge is that it could quickly be given to millions of people. The responsibility for its safety is therefore very important. Even going quickly with technology like mRNA, no manufacturer will be able to have a vaccine ready by the summer, or even by the autumn,” said Stephane Bancel, chief executive of Moderna Therapeutics, one of several entities involved in an all-out international effort to create a vaccine as soon as possible for the deadly SARS-like virus.
"We need approved vaccines so that if there are mutations within a strain of virus, we can produce vaccines in large quantities within a few months.”
The Novel Coronavirus originated in a live seafood market in Wuhan, in Hubei province, in December 2019.
The World Health Organisation has already declared the epidemic a global emergency, and the Chinese death toll has risen to 259 while total infections reached nearly 12,000, surpassing the SARS epidemic of two decades ago.
Iraq's Basra International Airport on Saturday announced it would refuse entry to travelers of any nationality travelling into the country from China. A number of countries in the region, including Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, have introduced screening measures at airports.
Earlier this week, Sudan's healthy ministry said it had noted two suspected cases of the virus, which have not been confirmed.
On Sunday, health officials in the Philippines announced the first death from the virus outside of mainland China.
In total, 305 people have died from the novel coronavirus, of which there are more than 14,300 confirmed cases worldwide.
So far, the majority of the victims were elderly individuals with pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes and liver cirrhosis.
The virus has already confirmed cases across the world, including China, Australia, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Macau, Nepal, The Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Canada, US, Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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