PETALING JAYA, March 24 — Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has advised the public against stigmatising those who attended last month’s mass tabligh gathering in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the attendees should not be blamed for the uptick of Covid-19 cases, after nine deaths were linked to the event’s cluster.

“Let us not discriminate against the tabligh followers,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a press conference today.

“What is important is that we help to detect and treat the Covid-19 infections among the tabligh followers, their families and their contacts.” 

Health authorities nationwide have continued pleading with participants of the tabligh ijtimak event, held at the Jamek Sri Petaling mosque in Kuala Lumpur from February 27 to March 1, to seek testing for Covid-19.

It is believed that thousands of the attendees are refugees and undocumented migrants who are concerned they may be detained for immigration offences if they reveal who they are.

The government urged the remaining 4,000-odd Tabligh event attendees, which became the biggest cluster of positive Covid-19 cases in the country, to come forward and assured the authorities will not focus on their travel documents.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry said that it will not disclose any patient information to third parties, in yet another attempt to convince the holdouts from the tabligh cluster to come forward for testing.

After the early success in containing the first wave of Covid-19 infections, Malaysia has experienced a sharp rise in cases, hundreds of which have been connected to the tabligh event.