PUTRAJAYA: The Sri Petaling tabligh gathering cluster is finally nearing its closure, with only one active case left, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah
He said that reducing the number of active cases from this cluster down to its last one as a success for his ministry and all agencies involved in the related tracing activities.
“This is a success. There has been a strong concerted effort involving the ministry and many other agencies to take action as soon as we detected this cluster.
“We managed to trace many of the participants of the gathering. Those who attended also cooperated well with us, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at the ministry’s Covid-19 press conference here.
About 40% of Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases are linked to the religious gathering with its cases spanning five generations, making it the country's biggest Covid-19 cluster.
Dr Noor Hisham said he hopes the ministry can end its monitoring of the cluster in “one or two weeks”.
The tabligh gathering at Masjid Jamek Sri Petaling was held from February 27 to March 1, with over 16,000 people believed to have attended throughout that weekend.
About 1,500 of them are foreigners.
Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was only made aware of the event eight days after the event, which made tracing even more challenging.
“A few months ago, we were shocked by the discovery of the Sri Petaling tabligh cluster. By the time we were made aware of the gathering eight days later on March 9, many of the participants had returned home to their hometowns all over the country, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.
Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases soon saw a spike after experiencing 11 days of no new cases.
The government then started implementing the movement control order (MCO) on March 18, where movement was limited, businesses were closed and everyone was instructed to stay at home.
In total, 42,023 individuals have been tested under this cluster, with 3,375 testing positive.
The cluster saw 34 deaths, which is 28% of the total fatalities in the country.
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