Malaysia announced 190 new cases of coronavirus today(Mar 15) with most of the newly reported infections linked to an Islamic religious event at a mosque that was attended by more than 10,000 people from several countries, Reuters reported.
With the new cases, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the country swelled to 428, the health ministry said in a statement. Nine patients were in the intensive care unit (ICU) and needed respiratory assistance while 42 Covid-19 patients in the country have so far recovered.
Malayais’s health minister Dr Adham Baba said most of the new cases were related to the Tabligh programme in Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling, held from Feb 27 to March 1. Around 16,000 people attended the religious gathering held at the mosque out of which at least 14,500 were Malaysians.
The minister urged those who went to the Tabligh programme to cooperate with the authorities to prevent further spread of Covid-19 among Malaysians.
The ministry said all event participants and their close contacts will be placed under mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah described the tracing and identification process of attendees of the gathering as a “mammoth and daunting task”
Sharing an update on the recent cluster infection, he tweeted: “The ministry continues to detect, isolate and treat this cluster. Indeed it’s a mammoth task and we hope for the best.”
Brunei and Singapore have also recorded Covid-19 cases traced to the gathering, held from Feb 28 to March 1.