PUTRAJAYA: A total of 172 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Wednesday (Mar 25), bringing the total number of cases in Malaysia to 1,796 since the start of the outbreak, while the total number of deaths rose by three to 19.

Health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said initial investigations indicated that of the 172 new cases, 71 were linked to the Sri Petaling mosque “tabligh” cluster.

The remaining 101 cases were still being investigated, he said, at the daily COVID-19 press conference.

The director-general said 45 cases of COVID-19 were being treated at Intensive Care Units (ICUs), and of this number, 34 patients needed ventilator support.

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Sixteen individuals had made a full recovery and were discharged on Wednesday, bringing the cumulative number of discharges to 199.

A total of 73 health staff members from the ministry had tested positive for COVID-19, and investigations had found that the infections were not caused by the provision of care by such personnel to COVID-19 patients at health facilities.

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“Of this number, it was found that the source of infections for 47 cases was linked to a wedding ceremony attended by individuals who had also attended the ‘tabligh’ gathering. Other sources include overseas travel and contact with family members infected with COVID-19,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

A total of 1,895 ministry personnel involved in attending to COVID-19 patients had been tested, with the results for 1,187 returning negative, while 708 others were awaiting their results, he added.

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