Malaysia reports whopping 190 new Covid-19 cases

Health officials doing tests on those who attended the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: A record high of 190 new Covid-19 cases were reported till noon today, bringing the total to 428 cases in Malaysia.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said, based on initial investigations, most of the cases were linked to the tabligh convention held at the Sri Petaling mosque earlier this month.

The director-general of health, Noor Hisham Abdullah was quoted by AFP as saying: “Of the 428 cases, 243 are participants from the religious event in Sri Petaling.”

About 14,500 Malaysians were at the gathering, with 1,500 from Bangladesh, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei reported 10 new cases on Saturday, raising the total to 50, most of them people who attended the Malaysia gathering. Singapore has also announced cases linked to the event.

Adham said that of the 428 cases, 42 have been discharged, but nine positive cases remained in intensive care.

He said investigations and contact tracing are ongoing and urged those who attended the mosque convention, held from Feb 27 to March 1, to contact the nearest public health centres.

Dr Adham Baba

He said the participants will be placed under quarantine for 14 days, as provided under Section 15 (1) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.

Adham said the same law will be used for persons under investigation (PUI).

“Everyone is urged to cooperate with the health ministry to curb the spread of the virus,” he said.

At a press conference, streamed live though Facebook, from Johor Bahru, Adham said Malaysia is at the late containment stage due to the high number of cases reported.

He explained there were three stages of the contagion — containment, late containment and mitigation.

He said a total of 6.8 million people have used the Johor Causeway since Jan 5 and none of them have been found to show any symptoms.

Adham said any buildings confirmed with Covid-19 cases will be disinfected to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected 157,000 people in 154 countries.

So far, 5,839 people have died from the virus.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure — fever, cough and shortness of breath.