Malaysia says has more Covid-19 cases than Thailand due to ‘tabligh’ cluster

29-Apr-2020 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The reason Malaysia is lagging behind the curve in containing the Covid-19 pandemic is largely due to the health ministry blindsided by the mass gathering of around 16,000 at a tabligh event at the Seri Petaling Mosque.

In the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference, its director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that if it was not for the gathering, Malaysia’s cases could be lower than Thailand.

“Yes, if we compare to Thailand, they do have a bigger population. But Thailand did not have a tabligh gathering. We were late [in managing the tabligh cluster] by nine days, the event ended on March 1. I was informed on the evening of March 9.

“When we took action, we were 10 days late. The cases had already spread to other districts and the rural areas. When compared to Thailand, there was no tabligh gathering,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

He pointed out that around 30 to 40 per cent of the Covid-19 positive cases in Malaysia came from the 16,000 tabligh followers from in and out of the country.

However, he also stressed that instead of comparing Malaysia’s infection rate to its northern neighbour, the critical thing during this pandemic is whether or not the nation has successfully treated and handle the cases properly.

“Even with the tabligh cases, we believe we have curbed the infection rate even though we were late in managing them, our actions were still successful,” said Dr Noor Hisham, referring to the tabligh cluster.

As of today, Thailand registered seven new cases and two deaths over a 24-hour period while cumulative cases totalled 2,938.

Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin, spokesman of the Thai government’s Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration said that this was the second day that the number of new cases had dropped to single digit.

The number of fatalities has gone up to 54, while 2,652 patients have recovered and returned home and 232 are undergoing treatment in hospitals.

Malaysia on the other hand reported just 31 new Covid-19 cases today, the lowest number since the movement control order (MCO) was initiated on March 18.

The last time daily new cases were below 30 was back in March 12, before the second wave of Covid-19 infection here.

As of 12pm today, the total number of Covid-19 positive cases is 5,851 cases, with 1,719 of them active cases.


Category: Malaysia

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