Malaysia warns of more coronavirus cases as it traces guests of Islamic event

Malaysia warns of more coronavirus cases as it traces guests of Islamic event

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s coronavirus cases jumped to 1,183 on Saturday with eight deaths, and the government warned of more cases next week as it looks for people who attended a mass religious gathering linked to a majority of the cases.

The health ministry reported one new death and 153 fresh infections on Saturday, 90 of which are connected to the event at a mosque late last month attended by people from more than two dozen countries.

The four-day religious “tabligh” event near the capital, Kuala Lumpur, has now been linked to 714 cases in Malaysia, and at least 840 across Southeast Asia.

Malaysia has the highest number of confirmed cases in Southeast Asia, though Indonesia has more deaths at 38.

“We expect the number of cases to rise next week and urge the tabligh members involved to come for screening,” Health Malaysia Director General Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

The gathering was attended by 16,000 people, 14,500 of them residents of Malaysia, including hundreds of Rohingya and other refugees.

The health ministry said it was working closely with the U.N. refugee agency to ensure refugees and asylum seekers were included in preventive and containment activities to contain any potential communal spread.

To trace those from this group that had participated in the tabligh gathering, the health ministry would also send out officers from its district departments.

Reuters



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