Malaysia records 110 new Covid-19 cases, total at 900

63 of the 110 new cases are linked to the recent tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque

By S BIRRUNTHA / Pic by ARIF KARTONO

A TOTAL of 110 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Malaysia as of noon yesterday, bringing the total to 900 cases nationwide.

According to preliminary investigations, 63 of the 110 new cases are linked to the recent tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said.

Fifteen recovered Covid-19 patients have been discharged, bringing the total number of fully recovered cases to 75 (at press time).

“To date, 20 positive cases of Covid-19 are being treated in the intensive care unit and need breathing assistance,” Dr Adham said in a statement yesterday.

Of the cumulative 900 cases, 576 are linked to the tabligh gathering, making it the biggest-single Covid-19 cluster to date.

As of yesterday, Selangor had the highest number of cases among all states at 223 cases, followed by Kuala Lumpur (123) and Sabah (112).

Malaysia now has the fourth-highest number of Covid-19 cases in Asia behind China, South Korea and Japan.

Dr Adham also urged everyone to comply with the Movement Control Order (MCO), which is effective from March 18-31, and advised people to stay at home.

Meanwhile, Malaysians who are currently in Indonesia to attend the now-cancelled tabligh assembly in Gowa, Sulawesi, will be quarantined upon their return.

According to Dr Adham, the Ministry of Health is aware that 83 Malaysians are there.

“They will be quarantined for 14 days and we are also coordinating with all private hospitals and private clinics dedicated to Covid-19,” he said in a press conference aired live on Facebook yesterday.

Over 8,000 people were estimated to have already assembled for the gathering, which was called off yesterday amid the rapid transmission of Covid-19.

It was reported that the organisers had earlier rejected a formal request from the authorities to postpone the gathering.

“In the case of the Kelantan mufti, we are still waiting for valid reports on whether he is a positive Covid-19 or not,” Dr Adham added.

Kelantan mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad has been admitted to the hospital with a fever and sore throat after returning from Sarawak recently.

Dr Adham also confirmed that a passenger travelling in a bus from Johor Baru to Kuantan is Covid-19 positive.

The ministry has taken measures to identify all passengers who were on the same bus, he added.

“We are in the process of screening them. We will also advise the National Security Council (NSC) to impose certain regulations for buses to ferry passengers, including social distancing and the use of personal protection equipment,” Dr Adham said.

On the Johor state government’s call for the border between Johor and Singapore to be reopened, Dr Adham said the authority to decide on the matter lies with the NSC.

He emphasised that the MCO is the best method of treatment to curb the Covid-19 transmission among people.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has announced an additional allocation of RM160 million to be channelled to 26 hospitals in the country to contain the second wave of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Muhyiddin said the RM160 million allocation could be utilised to purchase medical and non-medical assets, Bernama reported.