Malaysia tracking 5,000 people possibly exposed to coronavirus at religious event

A health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point in the international arrivals terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 10, 2020. — Reuters pic
A health quarantine officer waits for passengers at a thermal screening point in the international arrivals terminal of Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang, March 10, 2020. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Malaysian authorities are tracking around 5,000 citizens across the country believed to have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus at a religious event in the outskirts of the capital Kuala Lumpur, the Health Ministry said today.

The contact tracing was initiated after neighbouring Brunei reported its first case of coronavirus infection yesterday, a 53-year-old man who had attended the same event at a mosque between February 27 and March 1, the ministry said in a statement.

“Based on preliminary information, the religious event involved an estimated 10,000 people from several countries including Malaysia,” Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

“The Health Ministry urges all who had attended the event to cooperate with health officials to ensure Covid-19 does not continue to spread in their communities.”

Malaysia reported 20 new cases of coronavirus infection today, bringing the cumulative tally to 149.

The new cabinet under Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, which held its first meeting earlier the same day, imposed an entry ban on all Iranian, Italian and South Korean nationals due to the coronavirus outbreak in those three countries.

Malaysians returning from Iran, Italy and South Korea would be quarantined for 14 days, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said. — Reuters

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