PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia on Thursday (Mar 19) reported 110 new COVID-19 cases, taking the total in the country to 900, said Health Minister Adham Baba.
Of the new cases, 63 are linked to the tabligh (religious) gathering at a mosque in Sri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur.
The event, attended by 16,000 people, has also led to infections in neighbouring countries including Brunei, Singapore, Cambodia and Thailand.
Earlier, Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah confirmed that authorities had contacted 10,553 worshippers who attended the gathering as of Thursday midnight. Of these, 4,986 samples were taken and 513 of them tested positive for COVID-19.
One of them, a 34-year-old man, died in Johor’s Sultanah Aminah Hospital on Tuesday after his condition deteriorated. Malaysia’s death toll stood at two as of Thursday.
Dr Noor Hisham urged the rest of the worshippers from the event to come forward so that they will be checked.
83 MALAYSIANS ATTENDED SULAWESI RELIGIOUS GATHERING
Dr Adham, in his Thursday presser, added that 83 Malaysian citizens were among the thousands of Muslim pilgrims in South Sulawesi for a separate religious gathering on Wednesday.
The event, organised by a global Tablighi Jama’at movement of evangelical Muslims, was halted on Thursday.
Dr Adham said the Malaysians will be quarantined upon arrival in Malaysia and they will be housed in one of the country’s quarantine centres.
“This is mandatory as they are coming from a country which has many COVID-19 cases,” he added.
On Thursday, Indonesia’s tally of coronavirus infections stood at 309, with 25 deaths.
Providing an update of the COVID-19 patients in Malaysia, Dr Adham said 20 of them are warded at the intensive care unit and require breathing assistance.
Fifteen cases were discharged from hospitals on Thursday, meaning that a total of 75 patients have recovered from the virus in Malaysia.
On Monday night, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced a restricted movement order, which bars citizens from going overseas and foreigners from entering the country for two weeks starting Wednesday to rein in the virus spread in the country.
READ: COVID-19: Malaysia may deploy soldiers to enforce movement control order
In a separate national address on Wednesday night, Mr Muhyiddin said Malaysia may extend the movement control by “maybe another two weeks or even longer” if the current measures fail to contain the spread of COVID-19.
He also urged Malaysians to just stay at home during the two-week period to break the chain of infection.