PETALING JAYA: About 62% of Covid-19 positive cases were linked to the cluster from the tabligh event at the Sri Petaling mosque, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
“We have conducted about 13,000 tests and have taken about 6,700 samples. From that number, those that were tested positive were 940 cases, ” he said in a press conference on Monday (March 23).
He said that tests will be conducted for all participants of the tabligh event regardless if they displayed any symptoms and added that no test fees will be charged towards tabligh participants who are foreigners.
“For the tabligh participants, we will test all of them - even those without symptoms.
“At the start, (we followed) the World Health Organisation and we would test only those who display symptoms. But now, we have decided to test them even if they do not have any symptoms.
“If foreigners come to the health clinics or hospitals - if they are looking for treatment that is not Covid-19 related, they will be charged a fee that has been set.
"But if it’s related to Covid-19, no fee will be charged - whether they are foreigners who are rich or poor, ” he said.
He added that the Health Ministry is working with the police to track tabligh participants and encourage them to come forward to be tested.
Dr Noor Hisham also said that the ministry has successfully procured 33 million units of personal protective equipment (PPE) that will be distributed to health facilities this week.
“The government has also received donations of PPE from various parties and a total of three million PPE units will be distributed to health facilities according to their needs, ” he said.
He added that the Health Ministry is targeting to recruit 2,000 additional healthcare personnel - especially retired specialists and nurses - to help the ministry in the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak.
On the issue of contract doctors who were told that their contracts were extended for another two years without a salary increase, he said the ministry is trying its best to resolve the issue with the Public Services Department.
“This is not a new issue related to Covid-19, but it is an old issue that we have been fighting for - permanent posts for our doctors.”