Over 5,000 tabligh attendees yet to get screened

PUTRAJAYA: Over 5,000 attendees of the tabligh gathering at the Sri Petaling Mosque have yet to undergo Covid-19 screening, according to Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said to date, a total of 17,965 attendees were screened with some 12,842 samples taken.

“Of the total, 1,254 have been tested positive, 7,084 were confirmed negative while 4,504 are awaiting Covid-19 test results,” he told a press conference, here today.

Dr Noor Hisham said out of the 150 new confirmed cases today, 63 were linked to the Sri Petaling Mosque tabligh cluster.

On the illegal immigrants and those from the Rohingya ethnic group who were also at the tabligh gathering, he said the Health Ministry is collaborating with several non governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure all of them get screened.

“Those illegal immigrants may be afraid to come forward but at least when they go to the clinics (with the help of the NGOs), we will have the data to enable us conduct the necessary treatment and screening,” he added.

The NGOs are the Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia’s Response and Relief Team (Imaret), Mercy Malaysia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the 100,000 test kits from China received by the ministry were meant for laboratory use and are not rapid test kits.

“We have also identified the laboratories that will be using the test kits,” he said.

He also said the ministry had received the supplies of reagents used for Covid-19 testing which would allow the test to be conducted at full capacity.

“We will continue to outsource the test to seven priavate laboratories,” Dr Noor Hisham added. – Bernama

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