5,084 in tabligh cluster yet to be tested for Covid-19

Samples have already been taken from 12,500 of those in the Sri Petaling Mosque tabligh cluster, with 1,207 testing positive.

PETALING JAYA: A total of 5,084 people from the Sri Petaling Mosque tabligh convention cluster have yet to be tested for Covid-19, says health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

This includes the attendees, their family members and other close contacts.

At a press conference today, he said samples have been taken from some 12,500 attendees, with 1,207 testing positive and 6,648 testing negative. The results of 4,645 others are still pending.

“We need to find 5,084 who have not been tested. We hope we can test them in time,” he said, adding the ministry was working closely with the police to track them down.

Meanwhile, Noor Hisham said the ministry was now concentrating on hotspot districts in its fight against the virus.

The enhanced movement control order (EMCO), declared in Kampung Dato Ibrahim Majid and Bandar Baharu Dato Ibrahim Majid in Simpang Renggam, Kluang, Johor, was due to the surge in cases in two days.

“We believe there are four clusters of tabligh in that area,” he said, adding this was why no one was allowed in or out.

“We hope we can clean up and break the chain of virus transmission in these two villages.”

The ministry, he added, was monitoring all hotspots closely, and will act if there is a surge in cases in any village or district.

Their action plan was not limited to bringing down cases in hotspots, but also protecting “green areas”, where no Covid-19 cases have been recorded, Noor Hisham said.

This involves identifying high-risk people, carrying the infection, from entering such areas.

He said China had locked down three provinces, Hubei, Jiangsu and Jingxian, and protected Beijing.

“Using the same concept now, for hotspots, we will enhance the MCO. But for the green areas, we need to protect them.”

In an area which has been “locked down”, Noor Hisham said the ministry will go house-to-house to detect cases, especially those showing symptoms.

On the suicide of a 62-year-old man at the Serdang Hospital late last night, Noor Hisham said the patient did not have Covid-19.

Noor Hisham also said it was too early to comment on the ministry’s measures for the Ramadan period, but the focus now was on breaking the chain of infection. Some orgnisations have predicted that Malaysia’s cases will peak at 6,300- 9,000 cases.

“We are trying our best to bring down cases. We are working around the clock to bring down the cases and prove those predictions are not right.”

On the lifespan of the virus, Noor Hisham said in cold environments, it could last up to nine days and in hot and humid conditions, around 48 hours.

He also said the ministry was still evaluating test kits which had arrived from South Korea and China.