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A Health Ministry staff observes a thermal scanner installed at Senai International Airport on Jan 22. - NSTP/Zain Ahmed

JOHOR BARU: The parents of a 2-year-old Chinese boy suspected of harbouring the Novel Coronavirus removed the toddler from quarantine at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) here, and made an attempt to return to Wuhan, China, last night.

However, the three were intercepted at the Senai International Airport at 9.20pm as they desperately attempted to book a flight to their hometown.

The couple was promptly arrested and the trio were handed over to Johor health authorities, said Johor police chief Kamarudin Md Din.

They are now all at the isolation ward of the HSA.

It is learnt that a doctor at the HSA lodged a police report against the parents on Saturday night after they resisted a directive for their son to be quarantined and removed the child from the hospital.

According to the police report, the child had symptoms of influenza, including fever and cough, and was being monitored and tested for the coronavirus.

But the boy’s father was insistent on returning home, despite being informed that they would not get past the strict screening and security at the airport.

On Saturday morning, Malaysia recorded its first 2019 novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases involving three tourists from Wuhan, China, in Johor Baru. The three were part of a group of eight Chinese tourists who had been quarantined at a hotel in the city.

Hours later, a fourth case was confirmed, also involving a Wuhan tourist in Johor Baru.

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