Malaysia’s Health Ministry has detected positive COVID-19 cases within five generations that were connected to the tabligh gathering which took place in the Seri Petaling Mosque last month.
In a press conference yesterday (26 March), Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that from the event itself, “there are 711 index cases and these index cases spread to their families, which are the first generation”.
“Their family members infect their neighbours, and these neighbours infect their friends. We have seen five generations of infections. Every person who infect another individual… there are five generations,” he added.
According to Astro Awani, the tabligh cluster makes up to more than half (55%) of all the COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, totaling up to 1,117 out of 2,031 cases to date.
More than half of the 23 deaths linked to the disease so far are also connected to the tabligh cluster, as reported by New Straits Times.
The tabligh gathering from 27 February to 3 March this year recorded about 16,000 attendees, with 1,500 of them being foreigners from 25 different countries.
“We have to determine how we are going to identify the close contacts of the tabligh attendees. The first is their family members and the second is maybe their friends. This investigation is complicated and will take time,” noted Dr Hisham.
He said that 13,762 tabligh attendees were screened with 9,327 samples taken to be tested. Figures have shown that while 1,117 of the samples tested positive, a total of 5,646 were negative, and 2,564 are still pending for the results.