Health DG: 171 Covid-19 cases linked to church gathering, wedding ceremony

  • Nation
  • Monday, 06 Apr 2020

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has identified a church gathering and a wedding ceremony as two other large Covid-19 clusters in the country.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the two events, which were held prior to the implementation of the movement control order (MCO), were responsible for a combined 171 Covid-19 cases.

The church gathering, which took place in Kuching, Sarawak from Feb 26 to Feb 28, saw a total of 83 people who tested positive for Covid-19.

Two deaths were from this cluster, including the 60-year-old pastor who died on March 17, the country’s first Covid-19 fatality.

Dr Noor Hisham said 50 cases are currently being treated at hospital while 25 are being monitored at quarantine centres.

Only one patient from the Kuching church cluster has been discharged so far.

On the wedding ceremony cluster, Dr Noor Hisham said the event at Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor on March 6 saw a total of 88 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

“One of the cases is being treated at the intensive care unit. As of now, there are no deaths recorded from this cluster.

“Both clusters involved at least five generations of Covid-19 infections, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.

On Sunday (April 5), Dr Noor Hisham also revealed another cluster in Kuching, which started from patient 1,580 who had a travel history to Italy.

From that cluster, about 37 people tested Covid-19 positive and there were five related deaths and one critical case in the intensive care unit.

The cluster has infections up to three generations.

Dr Noor Hisham said the two Kuching clusters have been contained.

“We do not expect any more new infections from these two clusters, ” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also urged people not to stigmatise patients who are infected from such clusters.

“What is important is that we trace and we treat the disease for them, their family members and close contacts, ” he said.

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