Old govt failed to contain Covid-19 early, says health minister

Many new Covid-19 cases have been traced back to the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque, which took place from Feb 27 to March 3.

PETALING JAYA: Health Minister Adham Baba claims the previous government had failed to control the spread of Covid-19, particularly the Sri Petaling Mosque cluster, which has now become the biggest cluster in the country.

Adham said the number of Covid-19 cases in the country would only be in small clusters if the previous administration had controlled the spread of the virus more effectively.

“On March 10, we had a new cluster, which the previous government could not contain, which is the tabligh cluster. The tabligh gathering took place from Feb 27 to March 3. It was so big that until this day the spread cannot be stopped.

“If this cluster had been stopped earlier, the second wave of infections wouldn’t have happened,” he said during a teleconference with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, referring to the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque, which saw more than 14,000 participants.

From Feb 24 to Feb 29, Dr Mahathir Mohamad held office as an interim prime minister after having resigned as prime minister, causing the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

On March 1, Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as the eighth prime minister of the Perikatan Nasional government, with the new members of the Cabinet, including Adham, being sworn in on March 10.

The new government implemented a national shutdown of public activities under the movement control order on March 18 to break the Covid-19 chain of infection. The MCO entered its third phase from April 15 and it will be enforced until April 28.

International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali has indicated that the MCO may be extended beyond April 28 but with more sectors open for business.

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