KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 – The death of an umrah pilgrim on AirAsia X flight D7 171 from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur on Friday night was not due to infection from the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Director-General of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today said autopsy conducted on the 64 year-old Indonesian found it was caused by a heart attack. “The body was sent to Serdang Hospital for autopsy and samples were sent to Sungai Buloh Hospital laboratory to determine the cause of death.
“Since he had just performed the umrah, samples were taken for MERS-CoV screening and found to be negative.” Dr Noor Hisham said in the holy land, the victim suffered from fever, cough, shortness of breath and loss of appetite for a few days and sought treatment from clinics. “During the flight from Jeddah to Kuala Lumpur, he suffered from breathing difficulty and later died,” he added.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) had implemented MERS-CoV prevention and control measures according to the action plan as a precaution. They include gathering full information on those who had contact with the victim and flight disinfection as prescribed by the standard operating procedures (SOP). The MOH also conducted fever screening on all 244 passengers and 12 crew on board the flight, distributed Home Assessment Tool and Health Alert Card to risky passengers and those who had contact with the victim.