Malaysian in ‘Tabligh’ Gathering Tested Positive for Covid-19

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has confirmed that a Malaysian man – who was among some 5,000 Malaysians – who attended a tabligh (religious) gathering at Masjid Seri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur has been tested positive for Covid-19.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the 60-year-old man or referred to as Case-131 participated in the “ijtimak tabligh” gathering for three days from Feb 28 to March 1.

The patient, he said, started having symptoms of fever, cough and flu on March 4 before experiencing breathing difficulties on March 8 and was subsequently admitted at Hospital Bentong on the same day.

Patient-131 was later referred to Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan, Kuantan on March 9.

“A case of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) has been detected today through the ministry’s Covid-19 surveillance. Further investigation was then carried out on Case-131.

“A Covid-19 detection test was performed, which confirmed that the patient is positive of the virus on March 10.

“He has been in the isolation ward and is receiving treatment,” Dr Noor Hisham wrote on his Facebook page.

The ministry advises all attendees of the four-day tabligh gathering – from Feb 27 to March 1 to immediately get tested if they show symptoms for Covid-19, he said.

The ministry, had yesterday, revealed that a 53-year-old Brunei citizen, who was present at the gathering was tested positive for the virus upon returning home.

The tabligh gathering involved around 10,000 people from several countries.

Dr Noor Hisham urged attendees of the gathering to contact the district health departments, the state Crisis Preparedness And Response Centre (CPRC) or reach out to the virtual health advisory through the ministry’s website for advice.

In a statement yesterday (Wednesday), he said the ministry is conducting Covid-19 surveillance to detect sporadic and local cases in Malaysia through patients with influenza-like-illness (ILI) and SARI with no history of travelling to affected countries or contacts with confirmed Covid-19 cases.

As of March 11, he said, a total of 600 samples (138 for SARI and 462 for ILI) have been tested and one sample was found to be positive for Covid-19.

“Investigation is currently ongoing to identify the source for this sporadic case,” he had said.

He advised Malaysians to self-quarantine themselves if they have fever, cough or flu and to wear a mask.

Besides that, the public is advised to practice social distancing, to stay at least a meter away from people, avoid handshake or to touch the mouth, eyes and nose, and to wash hands frequently as these measures, he said, could help to prevent infection.

As of Wednesday, Malaysia has recorded 149 cases, of which 26 has recovered and discharged.


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