The number of new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia has been on the rise
As of this writing, almost all of them — 77 out of the total 80 new cases recorded between 13 to 14 March — are linked to an ijtimak tabligh gathering that was held at Jamek Sri Petaling Mosque in Kuala Lumpur.
The religious gathering was attended by over 14,500 Malaysians out of the 16,000 total attendees from around the world, according to Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Of the 80 new cases, 39 were recorded on Friday, while 41 were recorded today, 14 March.
Despite the spike in confirmed cases recorded since yesterday, the situation here remains under control.
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country has now reached 238 — with 203 cases currently being active including five in critical condition. 38 patients who were under treatment have made full recovery.
The Ministry of Health has been trying to contain the situation by setting up mass screening facilities at the Sri Petaling Mosque for the estimated 14,500 Malaysians who attended the tabligh gathering
According to the Ministry of Health, a total of 4,942 Malaysians out of the over 14,500 who attended the tabligh rally at Seri Petaling Mosque were identified as of 7pm, 14 March.
Prior to which, the Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director had said that only about 1,500 of those have registered with the mosque committee for screening.
According to Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani, the Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director, so far the Ministry of Health has not asked the police to ask for assistance in tracing the huge number of the KL tabligh assembly members, a Bernama report said, 14 March.
So police can only advise the members to voluntarily undergo health screenings, he added.
"Members of the public who know of family members, neighbours or friends who attended the tabligh programme are advised to come forward to give this information," he was quoted as saying.
In light of the developments, Perlis Mufti Associate Professor Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin took some of the tabligh members from the state to task for giving excuses when they were asked to undergo screening
According to the popular preacher, who goes by Dr Maza on social media, he was informed about some of the Malaysian attendees have yet to go for the screening as they believe the coronavirus disease is from Allah and if they are infected it is His will, so they will just have to accept it.
"Some also argued that a mosque is a sacred place and they will be protected, fear nothing but Allah or that they will die a martyr and many other excuses," Dr Maza wrote on his Facebook page today.
He emphasised that the COVID-19 is a contagious disease and an infectious virus like this, coupled with being in close contact with others in mosques, can be extremely dangerous.
As such, he said that he is humbly urging all them who were at the religious gathering in KL to undergo health check-ups and screening to ensure the infection did not continue to spread.
Dr Maza added that it is unfair to burden the officials from the Ministry of Health who have been hunting down the KL tabligh assembly members to get them screened.
Give your cooperation, think of the other Muslims and non-Muslims. Do not go to mosques until you have been confirmed healthy.
Meanwhile, MOH announced that 1,000 new housemen will be deployed at public hospitals nationwide starting Monday, 16 March:
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