KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters): Malaysian authorities are scrambling to track down about 2,000 Rohingya men who attended a religious gathering that has led to a big spike in Covid-19 cases across South-East Asia, a security source and two other people told Reuters.
More than 100,000 Rohingya live in Malaysia after fleeing from Myanmar, but they are considered illegal immigrants. Their status would likely make many of them reluctant to identify themselves to get tested for the virus even if they showed symptoms, other sources, in the Rohingya community, said.
Malaysia’s search for the Rohingya highlights the challenge for governments trying to track the virus among communities living without official papers and wary of authorities.
243 cases of the total of 428 come from the Tabligh cluster…
Malaysia has 428.
Case 131 is a man, 60, from Pahang who attended this same gathering.
PETALING JAYA: All state health authorities are tracing more than 5,000 Malaysians believed to have participated in a gathering of Islamic missionaries at a mosque in Seri Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, after Brunei reported its first case of Covid-19 originating from there.
The members of the tabligh, a loose group of Muslim missionaries, hold their weekly congregation there.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Brunei’s International Health Regulations (IHR) Focal Point had informed its Malaysian chapter of the case that was confirmed there.
“The patient is reported to have attended a gathering of missionaries at the Seri Petaling mosque from Feb 27 to March 1.
“Based on early information, the gathering involved an estimated 10,000 participants from other countries, including Malaysia.
“Malaysian participants are said to be number more than 5,000,” he said in a statement.
Brunei reported five more Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, just a day after the first case was reported on Monday.
According to media reports, the 53-year-old man, who was confirmed to have contracted the virus, had returned from Kuala Lumpur on March 3.
He had suffered a fever on March 7 and received treatment at Hospital Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha in Brunei the next day.
Noor called on all individuals who had attended the missionary gathering to cooperate with the health ministry to ensure the virus does not spread among the community.
“If you have any of the symptoms, you are asked to contact the nearest health district office or state Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC).
“If you do not have any of the symptoms, you are asked to practise social distancing of at least one metre from other people for 14 days from the last date of your attendance at the gathering.”
Man with Covid-19 was at mosque gathering of 10k people, all told to report symptoms
Published 6:24 pmModified 6:54 pm
The Malaysian Health Ministry today revealed that some 10,000 people had participated in a religious gathering at Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur between Feb 27 to March 1, where a Bruneian man infected with Covid-19 had also joined in.
“Based on preliminary information, the gathering involved around 10,000 people from a number of countries including Malaysia.
“Malaysian participants were estimated at 5,000 people. All Health Departments are conducting further investigation into the matter in their respective states,” Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah (photo).
He urged all those at the event to cooperate with health authorities.
“The Health Ministry urges all those who attended the gathering to give cooperate with the Health Ministry to ensure that Covid-19 does not spread in the community,” he said.
The Bruneian man’s Covid-19 infection was discovered after he had returned to his home country and became Brunei’s first Covid-19 case.
The Bruneian Health Ministry yesterday said the 53-year-old retiree had gone to Kuala Lumpur on Feb 27 to attend the religious gathering and returned to Brunei on March 3 via Miri, Sarawak by talking Air Asia Flight AK5651.
He had also made a day trip to Miri on March 6. He started showing symptoms on March 8 and was confirmed positive with Covid-19 on March 9.
Following the case, the Malaysian Health Ministry urged everyone who had participated in the religious gathering to report to the authorities if they show symptoms.
Noor Hisham said they can contact their district health department, state Crisis Preparedness And Response Centre (CPRC) or reach out to the virtual health advisory through the Health Ministry’s website for further advice.
He said they can also get free medical advice through the BookDoc app.
He urged them to maintain good hygiene and proper coughing etiquette.
Noor Hisham said for those not showing symptoms, they are encouraged to practice social distancing by keeping a one-metre distance from other people for 14 days.