PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia’s biggest Covid-19 cluster – the Sri Petaling tabligh gathering – is finally nearing its closure after four months, with only one active case left under the cluster, says the Health Ministry.
“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 Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
About 40% of Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases are linked to the religious gathering, with the cases spanning five generations.
Dr Noor Hisham 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 Feb 27 to March 1, with over 16,000 people believed to have attended throughout that weekend. About 1,500 of them are foreigners.
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.
Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham announced only five new cases yesterday, of which three were imported and two were local transmissions.
One of the local cases was a foreign restaurant worker who was detected from a screening conducted by the district health office in Kuala Lumpur.
The other local case, which was detected in Selangor, is a family member of Patient 8649.
There were no deaths and 11 more patients were discharged yesterday, reducing the number of active cases in the country to 71.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham reminded Malaysians not to take the improving situation of Covid-19 in the country lightly, citing examples in other countries where the outbreak had made a return.
“We have seen in other countries where they managed to control the infection, but the moment they ease and relax restrictions, and people do not comply with the SOP, Covid-19 makes a comeback.
“So it is important to keep complying with the SOP set by the ministry, ” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said the Australian state of Victoria announced the shutdown of 55 entry points at its border with New South Wales following escalation of Covid-19 cases.
He said one of the factors contributing to the spread of the virus in some major cities was the “infringement of SOP” at quarantine centres by individuals returning from overseas.
“The ministry hopes that all travellers returning to Malaysia will continue to cooperate with the ministry and comply with the terms and requirements under the home surveillance order (HSO), ” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham said that out of 5,804 individuals placed under the HSO, 414 individuals had yet to undergo the compulsory day-13 Covid-19 testing.
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