KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Each and every attendee of a the tabligh gathering that took place early this month will be screened for Covid-19 whether or not they exhibit symptoms, the Health Ministry said today.
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah clarified his ministry had only today decided on the change in procedures as a step to identify all possible infections from the gathering.
“At the initial stage, if we follow the guidelines from the World Health Organisation, we only test those if they have symptoms; if they are asymptomatic, we check them but we don’t test.
“But from today, we agreed to test them even though they are asymptomatic,” he said during the ministry’s daily press conference.
“Now even without symptoms, those from the tabligh gathering, we will test all of them” he added.
This comes Dr Noor Hisham announced earlier today that to date, Malaysia has recorded 14 deaths due to Covid-19.
Eight of those cases were linked the tabligh event cluster.
Noor Hisham added that the ministry are in cooperation with the police to trace the whereabouts and track down remaining attendees who have yet to get themselves screened for the virus.
“It is important that we trace them, and when we have traced them then we will carry out the Covid-19 tests,” he said.
Noor Hisham had previously urged all those who attended the gathering, locals and foreigners, to get themselves checked at the closest public health clinic or hospital.
This as organisers claimed that around 12,500 people attended the gathering, smaller then the Health Ministry’s estimate of 16,000 attendees.
To date the gathering has caused some 934 infections nationwide, making up around 62 per cent of the total number of cases locally.