Health minister: Tabligh cluster could have been prevented by previous govt

Health Minister Datuk Sri Dr Adham Baba at a media briefing in Putrajaya April 13, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health Minister Datuk Sri Dr Adham Baba at a media briefing in Putrajaya April 13, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba today said that the largest cluster of Covid-19 patients in Malaysia could have been prevented if the previous government managed the outbreak well.

In a conference call with Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today, Dr Adham pointed out that by right Malaysia should only be having small clusters of Covid-19 infections if the tabligh gathering at Sri Petaling on February 27 had been prevented.

“On March 10, we had a new cluster appear which the previous government failed to contain, which is the tabligh cluster.

“It happened from February 27 to March 3. It is very big. Until now, we are still unable to stop its spread.

“There are still cases from the tabligh cluster that have infected up to the fifth generation.

“If the tabligh cluster was prevented, there would be no second wave. We may only have small clusters,” he said in the call which was broadcasted live on Zahid’s Facebook page.

In the conference call, Zahid congratulated Dr Adham on his achievement so far as Malaysia managed to slow the infection rate of Covid-19 by enforcing the movement control order (MCO) under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) on March 18.

The former deputy prime minister also encouraged Dr Adham to appear more in social and conventional media so the people could see him in the frontlines with other senior politicians.

Dr Adham said he has been meeting various world leaders over video conferencing to discuss and exchange information on the “war against Covid-19”.

“I believe what I have done has been acknowledged by the world.

“I have had video conferencing with WHO (World Health Organisation), I did a live (video conference) with the health ministers from China, Singapore and also a live conferencing, with Asean ministers.

“In the media, I am always there with my tagline Kita Mesti Menang (We must win),” he said.

The tabligh cluster’s positive cases now numbered 1,946 out of 5,305 in the country. 26,199 out of 28,201 of the related clusters have been screened until yesterday.

During the gathering, Malaysia did not have a full government as the Pakatan Harapan government collapsed on February 24.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin took oath as the 7th prime minister on March 1 and did not announce Cabinet members until March 9.

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